By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
John Marshall Law School recently had a panel discussion about the real estate/marijuana landscape in states that have legal cannabis. The group that gathered April 18th was made up of Attorneys, real estate developers, investors, and Celeste Hammond, the director of the school of real estate law. Hammond described the situation as “disruptive innovation” that is occurring as the market switches from illegal to legal in some regions and recommended that communities address the situation head on and early. John Marshall Law School reported:
“Peter Eisenberg (’00) and John Collins, principals of Clark Street Real Estate brainstormed with me nearly a year ago about disruptive forces in the real estate industry and in the law. The legalization of medical marijuana is a disruptive force to other long-legal drug companies and to those distributing alcohol and tobacco as well. As a ‘disruptive innovation’ from illegal to legal the industry calls for a response from communities where the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana occur,” said John Marshall Law School Professor Celeste Hammond, Director of the Center for Real Estate.
“In what has been called a ‘legality innovation’ the law will respond. In addition to the impact on both public/government and private land use restriction, real estate attorneys will help to support the role of banks, title insurance, and the real estate that serve as leasing sites for marijuana to grow and be sold. There will be implications even for climate change as the newly legal industry requires huge amounts of water and energy. The disruption is more exciting and more important than I imagined,” said Hammond.
In a wide-ranging discussion, the panelists agreed that legalized marijuana usage for medicinal and recreational purposes will continue to grow nationwide and advised audience members to keep abreast of changes in federal and state laws to knowledgeably participate in the industry.
They also delved into the complications surrounding leases on property, banking laws and how they can impact marijuana businesses, and zoning issues as well. They discussed the need for entrepreneurs and developers to find “creative ways” to operate around the existing codes. They agreed the legalization of medical and recreational use will continue to expand.
Smart discussions like this are needed in every state that is dealing with cannabis legalization. The smart move is to have these discussions before the problems arise so they can hopefully find a reasonable solution to these issues. Kudos to the John Marshall Law School for tackling this important subject.
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