Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Legal Marijuana Shops Could Boost Nearby Properties: Experts, Study

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Legal Marijuana Shops Could Boost Nearby Properties: Experts, Study

Article excerpt

Could legal pot shops boost property values?

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TORONTO - While Ontario landlords are looking to ban marijuana use in their rental units and several municipalities don't want legal cannabis stores in their neighbourhoods, experts and a U.S. study suggest that recreational pot could lift property values.

Property prices for homes in Denver near shops which converted from medical marijuana to recreational pot in 2014 saw values increase by 8.4 per cent, compared to those slightly further away, the study by professors based in Wisconsin, Georgia, and California found.

Experts say it's too early to tell if Canadian homeowners can expect a similar effect, but note that marijuana retail locations could benefit neighbourhoods by driving foot traffic to merchants, as well as reducing crime.

"If it goes into a retail area and that spurs traffic for stores in that block or two, and they increase in value, there could be spillover to the residential neighbourhood," says Queen's University real estate professor John Andrew. "If you get excellent shopping and stores thriving in a particular area, people want to live near there."

However, as Canada moves towards the legalization of marijuana for recreational use this summer, landlords and municipalities have voiced concerns about the impact of legal marijuana shops in the area or cannabis consumption in homes.

The president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations said Monday that landlords should be allowed to prohibit marijuana usage in their properties in Ontario, where proposed provincial law will limit pot consumption to private residences.

That comes after the Ontario government in December appeared to backtrack on its earlier statement that municipalities could not opt out of hosting marijuana stores as a City of Richmond Hill committee unanimously endorsed a statement saying it was not willing to host one. …

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