Legalized Marijuana Shakes Up Denver’s Commercial Property Market

The New York Times, citing a CBRE Research report, has found that 36 percent of Denver’s new industrial tenants between 2009 and 2014 were marijuana businesses. In 2015, nearly four million square feet of industrial space, or three percent of the city’s warehouse space, was occupied by marijuana cultivation businesses, while the local warehouse vacancy rates fell from 7.5 percent in 2010 to 3.7 percent in 2015.

Retail properties have also benefited from legalized marijuana: there were approximately 200 marijuana stores in Denver as of 2015, located in such diverse locations as converted gas stations and high-end storefronts. However, this market shift has seen some problems: landlords have been known to demand two to three times higher rent for marijuana businesses, and the retail price of Denver-area marijuana has been falling as supply outpaces demand.