Because you need it for medical reasons. Because you want to become a grower or open a dispensary. Or because you’re simply a fan of getting high. They’re all reasons for moving to states where marijuana is now legal. But there are also a few you may not have thought about, like the fact that, “Legal marijuana is a boon to the economy,” said Forbes. And that the economic benefit is largely being felt by homeowners.
“One thing is clear, pot entrepreneurs are contributing to real estate booms in commercial and residential markets in states that have legalized the drug for medical and recreational use,” said PropLogix.
The impact on commercial sales has been palpable, with growers and dispensaries creating demand for warehouses, factories, and “long-abandoned strip malls. As a result, states like Colorado and Washington are seeing premium prices for building leases and purchases within the proper zoning,” they said.
As for residential sales, Colorado provides a prime example of the demand being created. “Colorado’s state law allows for counties to determine if they and how they want to legalize and regulate the drug. Areas where it’s legal attract more homebuyers, including marijuana users as well as entrepreneurs and job seekers. As more growers and retailers open up shop in these municipalities, the demand for workers rise. The influx of new residents inevitably leads to more home sales and higher rents. There are also plenty of people moving to pot-friendly states without intent to work for the industry, but rather to enjoy the bud of its labor.”
So how does that translate to home values? The Cannifornian also turned to Colorado for a look at how the state’s home values were affected by the legalization of marijuana. “Researchers looking at the impact of legalized recreational marijuana on Denver’s home prices found a surprising trend: dispensaries that began selling recreational marijuana had a ‘large positive impact on neighboring property values,'” they said. “After recreational sales became legal, houses close to a participating dispensary saw their value increase more than 8 percent relative to homes located slightly farther away.”
In addition, Realtor.com looked at real estate values in Colorado and three other legalized states, Alaska, Oregon and Washington. They “showed a marked increase in home prices — well above the national median price,” after at least “a year of experience with recreational marijuana sales,” said the Herald-Tribune.
Where it’s legal
Oklahoma recently became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana. The rest are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Nine states, plus Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use:
- Washington D.C.
Several additional states including New York are considering the move, especially in light of the growing support (pun intended) and tax ramifications. The Verge’s recent look at whether or not New York should legalize weed brought up several interesting points in favor:
“It’d certainly be a popular move, since one in 10 New Yorkers used marijuana in the last month. It could also help fight the opioid epidemic. After all, medical cannabis can be prescribed for pain-relief.”
Indeed, a Gallup Poll shows that support for marijuana legalization is at “64% of Americans, and a recent report predicts “the legal marijuana market will reach $24.5 billion in sales—a 28% annual compound growth rate – by 2021, as more state-legal markets come online,” said Business Insider.
The financial consideration for states is tremendous. “In the end, legalizing pot could be good for New York State’s bottom line because the state could rake in the tax revenue,” said The Verge. “People buy between 6.5 and 10.2 million ounces of weed illegally in New York State every year. If you estimate that it costs between $270 to $340 per ounce, that adds up to a $1.7 to $3.5 billion-dollar market. With taxes, anywhere between $173.3 million to $542.3 million of that could end up in state coffers.”