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Aloha, Marijuana! New High for Hawaii Real Estate
April 12, 2021

Aloha, Marijuana! New High for Hawaii Real Estate

by The CE Shop Team

Hawaii Real Estate Is Ready to Grow

The legalization of marijuana might seem like a highly divisive issue, but the truth is the majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing it. According to the most recent Gallup poll, 68% of American adults are in favor of legalizing cannabis, including 49% of self-identified conservatives. Today, a whopping 14 states and D.C. have made marijuana completely legal. Could the Aloha State make that 15? Only time will tell, but legalization could be great news for Hawaii real estate.

Marijuana and Real Estate


As observed in other markets, the legalization of marijuana can have a positive effect on both residential and commercial markets. In terms of residential real estate, the marijuana industry is a job creator and accounts for nearly 300,000 jobs nationwide. If brought to Hawaii, the job growth could result in even more transplants seeking their own “growth” potential. That would be a nice addition to the state’s already impressive forecasted ~6% growth in home prices. Additionally, more cash could be involved in transactions, making bidding wars more commonplace, and sellers could fetch record prices for their properties.

Commercial real estate may benefit the most from the legalization of marijuana. According to the “Marijuana and Real Estate: A Budding Issue” report published by the National Association of REALTORS®, in places where marijuana was legalized, 16-21% of agents saw an increased demand for land, 34-42% saw an increased demand for warehouse space, and 18-19% noticed an increased demand for retail spaces.

“From property owners to manufacturers to those who simply want to engage for leisure – it all touches real estate in some form,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for the National Association of REALTORS®.

Marijuana and America Go Way Back

Over the course of United States history, marijuana has been legal longer than it has been illegal. In fact, the United States government didn’t really begin cracking down on marijuana until the early 1900s, when lawmakers noticed its popularity among a new wave of Mexican immigrants. Many scholars agree that the illegalization of cannabis was more of a manifestation of xenophobia, racism, and lack of understanding rather than a decision based on sound reasoning. Still, it became powerful fear fodder for politicians and media outlets alike, forming attitudes toward the substance that still persist today.

Where Marijuana Stands in Hawaii

While medicinal marijuana use is permitted across the state, recreational cannabis remains illegal in Hawaii. As of early April 2020, however, new legislation seeking to expand decriminalization and legalize the growth and sale of marijuana for adults 21 is moving forward. The last time it was on the ballot, legalization was passed by voters in every state that voted on the issue. The measures passed with significant margins, like 54% in traditionally conservative South Dakota, 57% in Montana, and an impressive 60% in Arizona. In other words, we could be saying aloha to marijuana very soon!

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