“A Real Estate Boom, Powered by Pot,” said the headline in the Sunday NY Times over a piece that described landlords commanding inflated prices for industrial warehouses. The tone of David Gelles’ story glowed bright as a full-spectrum LED, but it was sad to learn what has been lost as the old occupants gave way to the money-mad squares who are bringing cannabis “out of the shadows” and into the artificial light:
• “Until recently, the cinder-block structure was home to a wholesale florist, a granite cutter and a screen printer. Today, it is home to just one tenant: a medical marijuana operation called Ermont
• “Factories and warehouses near Portland that once produced and stored parts for model homes, steel beams and tires are already filled with budding marijuana plants.
• “Greenhouses in Monterey County that once produced roses and tulips now grow marijuana plants with names like Grape Ape and Buddha’s Sister.
• “Rob Lally, who once owned strip malls and shopping centers but is now courting marijuana tenants with Commerce Real Estate, is converting a former tool factory in Leicester, Mass., into a cultivation center.”
No one is predicting that the B word might soon burst, but Gelles noted:
“Electricity costs alone can be budget-breaking, as plants need powerful lights to flourish. Some owners also face expensive battles with mold and other related wear and tear, as the warehouses were not conceived as places for a very humid environment.
“Add to that financial mix the fact that in mature markets like Denver, the retail price of marijuana is coming down as supply outstrips demand.”