The Highs and Lows of Legalized Marijuana in Local Real Estate Markets

February 12, 2020
For sale house
By New Africa

When Illinois legalized recreational marijuana in January, the state announced it raked in nearly $11 million in the first five days. People lined up across the street in holding rooms, waiting for their chance to buy a THC-laced chocolate bar or cannabis bud. But will the real estate market receive the same bump? It’s too early to tell in Illinois, but in other states such as Colorado where it has been legal for years, the picture is still murky. Initially, some real estate agents saw an increase in interest in Colorado properties. But as homeowners associations and local laws reined in residents' ability to grow their own plants or smoke freely, the buzz died down. And if homes were not restricted from growing marijuana, real estate agents are finding it hard to resell them. 

Just because marijuana is legal in many states doesn't mean many residents can grow it in their backyards or even smoke up in their homes. Buzzkill.

Homeowners associations often place restrictions on marijuana, such as barring homeowners from smoking in common areas—or even growing cannabis in their own backyards in some cases, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. The report is based on a September survey of nearly 3,700 residential and commercial Realtors® across the country.

"Landlords and HOAs are having to think about how marijuana is both used and grown within a home," says Jessica Lautz, vice president of research at NAR. "[Even though] it's legal, you might run into issues. ... You may have restrictions on your ability to use marijuana in your home or in common areas."

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