Marijuana Dispensaries Present High Risk, High Reward For Landlords

Landlords who rake in rents from medical marijuana dispensaries may put their commercial bank accounts and title insurance at risk, according to cannabis real estate experts.

Meanwhile, cannabis retailers are baking early termination clauses into leases in the event municipalities deny permits to open dispensaries.

Dan Dietz, manager of real estate acquisitions for GrowHealthy, a Florida medical marijuana company founded in 2014, said his firm retained SRS Realty Advisors, a commercial brokerage based in Orlando, to handle all of its real estate deals in Florida.

“The SRS brokers are well-versed on state regulations on dispensaries, as well as at convincing landlords to accept the risks associated with leasing to a retail cannabis shop,” Dietz said. “We have pretty tight lease clauses we include. There are termination provisions based on the inability to achieve government requirements to operate, and line items that acknowledge selling marijuana products is against federal law.”

Dietz, whose company operates three dispensaries in Florida, was a panelist for an Urban Land Institute discussion on cannabis real estate in Fort Lauderdale. He joined Matt Ginder, senior counsel with law firm Greenspoon Marder’s cannabis practice; Nick Hansen, Southeast U.S. government affairs director for MedMen, a national cannabis company based in Culver, City, California that is currently suing Miami Beach over its dispensary restrictions; and Tara Tedrow, a shareholder at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed who chairs the firm’s cannabis & controlled substances group.

Leasing to dispensaries is a risky proposition because banks and major insurance companies do not want to do business with anyone tied to the cannabis industry since marijuana is still a federally banned illicit narcotic, Tredow told attendees.

“For rent checks, that is a problem,” Tredow said. “If a bank knows you are receiving rent from a cannabis company those are illegal funds you are knowingly accepting. Most federally insured banks do not care if the dispensary tenant is a licensed medical marijuana provider complying with Florida law. The money is considered dirty even if it comes from a legit cannabis company. A real estate investor or a cannabis company seeking to buy new land may also find it difficult to get title insurance if insurers find out the property will be used for marijuana purposes.”

MedMen’s Hansen said the company retained Blake Wilder to handle leasing for several locations, including in Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach.

“They have a pretty good working knowledge of what to look for,” Hansen said. “The biggest hurdle is time and the changing political winds in cities tackling dispensary regulations.”

In Miami Beach, Hansen claimed, permitting officials had given the company assurances it could open a location on Alton Road.

“After MedMen signed a 10-year lease and invested $1 million renovating a former Panera Bread restaurant, the city commission passed new regulations that prohibited its dispensary from being within 1,200 feet of another medical cannabis store that is already open,” Hansen said.

The company details the allegations in a recently filed lawsuit. Hansen said MedMen has had similar experiences in other cities and counties.

“That is not an outlier,” Hansen said. “That kind of stuff happens all the time, every day.”


Source: The Real Deal

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Larry W. Genet is a Senior Vice President in the CBRE, Inc. Miami, FL office. As part of the CBRE platform Mr. Genet can provide a wide range of services from local to Fortune 1000 clients including agency and tenant representation, asset or portfolio management, high level logistics, labor and data analytics prior to site selection, project/construction management, capital markets, owner user sales and valuation advisory services. CBRE is the global leader for real estate services worldwide.

Larry has extensive experience in landlord agency, tenant representation, acquisitions, dispositions and property management. As a third-generation commercial real estate professional and South Florida native, Larry boasts deep community ties, an intimate knowledge of the South Florida market and numerous professional contacts. Larry’s leasing expertise of industrial, office, land, retail and medical properties coupled with his experience in acquisitions and dispositions gives him the ability to represent a myriad of clients in the South Florida market. Additionally, Larry controls a portfolio of 13.5 million square feet allowing him to see every deal in the market. This ensures his clients never miss an opportunity. His knowledge of tenants and buyers in the market is top notch and when coupled with his team's vast portfolio, it's a winning combination.

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Larry Genet
Senior Vice President

Larry W. Genet is a Senior Vice President in the CBRE, Inc. Miami, FL office. He is a consistent Top 10 producer locally and Top 10% in the Americas Industrial & Listings business line. Co-leading the top multimarket institutional level landlord team, Larry has closed some of the most significant deals in our market selling land, portfolios, one-off buildings and completing critical leases. Clients count on Larry to put their Marketing Action Plans into motion and execute by being a proactive force to fill vaccines and get buildings sold quickly and for top dollar. He and Tom O’Loughlin oversee the largest landlord portfolio in the South Florida market.   

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Tom O’Loughlin has earned a reputation of being one of the top performing brokers in South Florida. As a trusted advisor, Tom has fostered relationships with our market’s top brokers making sure they deliver quality tenants to his client’s buildings. Tom is exceptional at understanding client’s needs, the obstacles they wish to overcome and creating a clear plan to succeed in surpassing all goals. A relative encyclopedia of market knowledge, building owners and businesses, not many brokers know our market better. Tom’s goal is to foster his client relationships and become their trusted advisors while delivering superior results regardless of the size or complexity of the transaction.