Marijuana-related businesses are generally tied to a specific location – to operate, they require land, greenhouses, retail stores, laboratories, kitchens, and/or warehouses. It is therefore not surprising that cannabis businesses generally require legal assistance with real estate matters.
Business Zoning and Jurisdiction
The ability to open a cannabusiness is usually dependent on the local municipality. State of California regulations have only one zoning restriction, that marijuana businesses may not be located within a 600-foot radius of a school, youth center, or daycare center. However, cities and counties have the power to severely restrict the location of marijuana growing operations, cooperatives, collectives, dispensaries, and retailers – and can ban their establishment altogether. We can help ensure that you are compliant with all relevant business zoning ordinances and regulations.
Commercial Leasing Agreements
In addition to the wide discretion of local jurisdictions to regulate in this area, the federal government’s ability to seize property in civil asset forfeiture action makes commercial leasing agreements for marijuana businesses different than the establishment of a typical storefront. Cannabusinesses and landlords who lease to them need to utilize the services of lawyers with experience drafting and negotiating commercial leases specifically for marijuana businesses to ensure that the lease includes, for example, permitted use provisions, zoning assurances, and clauses that prohibit only those activities that violate state law.
State legalization of marijuana has raised a myriad of landlord-tenant issues. Even where marijuana is legal, its consumption may negatively impact neighbors and other tenants. A manufacturer, distributor, or user of marijuana may have difficulty securing a lease (or surviving one) due to a smoking prohibition, prohibition against annoying other tenants, drug-free housing addendum, or general prohibition against violation of any local, state, or federal law. Landlords must consider the impact of marijuana usage on their properties and provide a clear marijuana use policy in their rental agreements.
Real Estate Services for California Cannabusinesses
For expert real estate, contract, and tax assistance by a law firm dedicated to assisting individuals involved in the cannabis industry, contact Moskowitz, LLP’s Cannabis Practice Group today.
Disclaimer: Growing, cultivating, and distributing marijuana are violations of federal law under the Controlled Substances Act, Title 21, Section 841(a)(1). The tax firm of Moskowitz, LLP can assist you in adhering to state and local law and regulations, and advise you on how to conduct your operations in a way that will minimize your risk of federal prosecution. However, we do not intend for our advice to assist you in the violation of any law and in light of the evolving nature of the marijuana industry in the U.S., clients must understand that our legal and tax services can guarantee neither success nor immunity from civil and/or criminal prosecution. In all areas where the legal landscape is constantly changing, we recommend that our clients act with caution, stay abreast of developments in the industry, and consult with us often.