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Pot merchants are not typical warehouse tenants

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Updated: 3/18/2014 11:10 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The anticipation of medical marijuana dispensaries opening in Clark County has  brought a big boost to the industrial real estate market.

Pot merchants are replacing traditional tenants, scrambling to find empty warehouses for growing their product.

“The minutiae of what’s going to be required of an applicant is just astounding,” said Attorney Jeff Silver, who noted that medical marijuana is a tightly regulated industry.

This map shows where dispensaries and cultivation facilities are allowed under state law.

The facilities have to be 1,000 feet from schools and 300 feet from parks, childcare facilities, and churches.

That leaves very little space available.

“You'll readily see that there are only a small number of locations that can qualify,” Silver said.

And those are just state requirements.

Clark county is set to vote on a separate set of requirements Wednesday.

If approved, cultivation facilities would also have to be 660 feet from homes. Dispensaries would have to be 330 feet from homes.

“It’s not easy to find the location and when you find the have to find the owners that will do it,” said Daniel Doherty, Executive Vice President of Colliers International Brokerage in Las Vegas.

Doherty says there is an equivalent of 225 football fields of industrial space available in the valley... And landlords know they can charge top dollar.

“If I had a choice between a tenant paying me 50 cents a foot to distribute bed linens or to grow pot and have pit bulls and armed guards throughout the day, I'm going to go with the guy distributing linens,” Doherty said. “Double or triple the rent, now I got a tough challenge, now I got a tough question to answer.”

That's problematic for traditional tenants also.

“That displaces our normal glass distributors, linen distributor, food distributor, so it's gonna take a chunk out of the vacancy and that's going to cause upward pressure in rents,” Doherty said.


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