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Medical Marijuana's Ohio Real Estate Hunt

A medical marijuana dispensary in Denver.

A land rush is underway, with potential medical marijuana dispensary operators vying for scarce commercial properties that meet siting restrictions in larger Ohio cities like Cincinnati or Cleveland

The struggle for suitable space is driving rents to double or more, the Cincinnati Business Courier reports.

“We just put a $60/SF offer on $28/SF space. People are throwing money out there,” Savage Real Estate owner Bryan Savage said.

A major factor in the tightness of the market is that Ohio law limits locations for anything cannabis-related. Such facilities cannot be within 500 feet of the property lines of schools, churches, public libraries, playgrounds or parks. Dispensaries lso cannot be near addiction treatment centers. 

Not every landlord wants a marijuana facility as a tenant, even though the state has set up a closed-loop banking system that allows cannabis tenants to pay by check rather than cash to make the process easier for landlords.

Ohio's medical marijuana program starts accepting applications on Friday to operate a dispensary. In December, would-be processors can apply for licenses.