"Marijuana is a very dangerous drug. Some people smoke it just once and go directly into politics."
Marijuana is now legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. As a result, this means that a growing number of commercial property owners will be faced with the question of whether to lease space to a marijuana business that “touches the plant,” referred to in this article as a marijuana-related business (MRB). Do you, or don’t you? This Practice Point will outline some of the considerations in making that decision, as well as issues that should be addressed in an MRB lease.
At the outset, it is important to recognize that under federal law, the use, possession, sale or processing of marijuana is illegal. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC § 801 et seq. Another federal law known as the Crack House Statute, 21, USC § 856, makes it a felony to knowingly open, lease, rent, use or maintain any place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance. Still with me? Despite federal law, hundreds of property owners lease or operate property for the growing, processing and sale of marijuana.