More than a year after the state of New Jersey legalized the recreational sale of marijuana, some who have obtained licenses from the state are hitting a dead end when it comes to obtaining retail space.
Many had expected the main hurdle to be securing a cannabis license. As it turns out, the real estate component has been the main obstacle. In New Jersey, once awarded a license, a licensee then has a secure real estate on which to operate their business.
Observers say of the 300-plus licenses awarded so far, as many as 50% may have to give up because commercial landlords are charging them rent through the roof once they hear marijuana is involved.
"You're normally used to spending a couple of thousand dollars on a commercial lease for property," Chirali Patel of Blaze Law Firm told FOX 5 NY. "Now you're talking minimum $10K and above for the same property because as soon as the landlord hears the word 'cannabis,' it's like a 10X almost."