Indoor operation in Quincy, Mass., in this 360° video.
By BENJAMIN NORMAN, DAVID GELLES, LOGAN JAFFE and JOSHUA THOMAS on Publish DateApril 1, 2017. Photo by Adam Glanzman for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung.
Last time we checked, pot was legal for half the states who voted to legalize it. That’s still true, but marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. But it’s no longer the issue that only patients prescribed it can use it. The cultural dynamic has shifted in another direction, and now the pressing question is actually where it is being made or produced. In other words, what’s at stake now in the conversation is that it, marijuana, is being developed out in the open, under several lights in a retrofitted empty warehouse, a dilapidated 36,000-square-foot building. a plant in the bad part of town or in an industrial park. There may not be signs on these plants, but pretty much everyone who knows something about getting pot for medicinal purposes knows that the “abandoned” warehouse across town is no longer selling wholesale tulips. In fact, buildings used specifically to make and grow marijuana advertise themselves both directly and indirectly. Here are the tall high-wire fences. There, please find the excess use of blinding, bright white lights, and here too are the security cameras. And here, finally, is what the company can’t conceal: it’s smell.
Part of the reason why words like “real estate” and “pot” are not often said in the same sentence is that, well, these two disparate things in no way relate to each other. All those factories have been repurposed to allow for the production of pot. And as it becomes clearer and clearer every day that there is not enough room or space to build a product that has high turnover, the real estate market has, in a word, joined forces with weed makers.
And because landlord and property managers know how selling weed is such a risky venture, as well as profitable (emphasis on profitable), the shady side of real estate rear’s its ugly head, charging a premium for new cannibas teams. This isn’t Christie’s or Sotheby’s. We’re talking about those agents who traffic in the lowest life possible either out of sympathy or else out of preying greed. In turn, Main Street commercial real estate gains a point as it reshapes dilapidated neighborhoods, sending property values soaring, although one has to wonder whether or not prospective buyers in the surrounding area near weed makers will buy a home or stay for long once they become cognizant of where they are.
What seems sure is that the industry is powerful, profitable, and getting even bigger by the day. Real estate agents—and, above all, investors–who once turned away at a pot factory may just be their first big scoop if contracting the factory. Unsurprisingly, high end real estate may be crossing borders, getting into the act so that they can fund office Christmas parties on the yauat, dine and wine a client, etc.
But what exactly is the problem? For all involved, it is a win-win situation. No one is being cheated out of something, and Julia Roberts is not walking into the courthouse half nude on a case she doesn’t even remember except that it will save lives. According to the New York Times, the real estate agency can profit by subleasing to growers, building owners can charge above market rates, and growers can make enough money to afford the steep rents.
In California, Chuck Allen, a commercial broker with Keller Williams Realty, said that last year, he’d pay about $2.5 million for a 10-acre parcel with greenhouses. “Today,” Allen adds, “You’d pay $5 million.” And in order for all of this to work, a pot pit may usually pay a premium. Plant plants don’t exist for the most part. You have to make them from ground up from new materials. They are expensive in general, and life inside is kind of like a refurbished Kohhl’s.
The relationship between real estate and marijuana is a tenuous one, and it seems will soon, and inevitably, rip. You can help build a warehouse for a draw-dropping $3-$4million on your project, but you may not see results for many years. And when you want it the least, as it always is the case, you’ll realize that, when marijuana prices are going down, as they now are, you won’t be able to stomach paying so much month just for lighting.
Read the original article on New York Times. Copyright 2017.