In November, voters in Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota approved recreational cannabis use in their states.

Those votes have opened the door for the sort of land rushes seen in other states that have legalized marijuana, with cannabis companies searching for retail and commercial space, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It can be tough for pot purveyors seeking space to operate: Their choices are often limited by strict regulations on cannabis sales and cultivation, and landlords may hesitate to work with them because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

For those companies, that means paying a premium to rent or buy. Anthony Coniglio’s company NewLake Capital Partners Inc. owns 19 properties in eight states leased to cannabis businesses.

“It’s like holding the winning lottery ticket,” Coniglio said, regarding landlords who are willing to rent to those tenants.

Massachusetts-based Curaleaf Holdings, which operates retail stores in 23 states, currently sells medical marijuana in New Jersey, which recently legalized cannabis but has not yet finalized a framework for distribution. The company bought its second dispensary in the state last year and reportedly paid about twice as much as the property would cost for other uses.

“People know they can charge cannabis an absurd amount,” said Patrik Jonsson, Curaleaf’s regional president for the northeast. “It’s the new norm.” [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch


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