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Cannabis REIT Innovative Industrial Properties Facing Financial Hurdles As Tenant Misses Rent Payment


This year has been a buzzkill for cannabis REIT Innovative Industrial Properties

The San Diego-based company’s stock has dropped 58% this year as of July 14, the Motley Fool reported. The latest precipitous drop came after the news that a tenant of IIP, Kings Garden, had defaulted on its rent and insurance payment for July. In all, Kings Garden’s default added up to a $2.2M problem for IIP, including $1.8M in unpaid base rent and property management payments.

IIP was still on the rebound from a so-called short report prepared by an activist investment firm called Blue Orca Capital. The report laid out why the firm was shorting IIP, or betting its stock would drop. 

“IIPR is less of a traditional REIT, and more of a marijuana bank,” the report said. IIP’s business model has involved entering into sale-leasebacks with cannabis companies that, because of federal regulations around cannabis, cannot just go into a traditional bank and get a loan.

That model works well only as long as the tenants keep paying their rent, and the report zeroed in on two tenants that might not be able to hold up their end of that bargain much longer. One was Kings Garden. 

IIP responded to the report, which it said contained a number of “false and misleading” statements about the company, but the report itself caused the company’s stock to fall 6.6%, Seeking Alpha noted.

Innovative Industrial Properties could have more trouble on the horizon as another one of its tenants is having trouble. The tenant, Parallel, is named in a lawsuit filed in both Florida and New York.

Both complaints claim that the company’s financial health and debt loads were misrepresented to investors, Green Market Report reported in March. The complaints involved accusations of  a “Ponzi scheme.” Parallel was IIP’s second-largest tenant last year, accounting for 9.7% of the revenue IIP generated, according to the Motley Fool. 

New cannabis legislation pending in Congress could also widen the pool of capital sources available to cannabis businesses and likely create more competition for IIP. The Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses Act, or CLIMB, would eliminate hurdles for banks and government agencies seeking to do business with cannabis companies, the Motley Fool reported