Missouri Might Be Rollin’ Thanks to Marijuana Legalization
To be blunt, the United States is going through somewhat of a cannabis revolution. As many as 15 states have legalized both medicinal and recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, many more are on the brink of full legalization, including the state of Missouri, and that’s great news for real estate professionals.
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.
Furthermore, marijuana became increasingly popular among Black Jazz musicians, including the prolific Kansas City-born Jazz genius Charlie Parker and others like Louis Armstrong, which didn’t help its cause. If you’d like to explore Kansas City’s significant role in Jazz history, we highly recommend making a trip to the American Jazz Museum.
In retrospect, 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.
Marijuana in Missouri
In 2014, Missouri voters elected to decriminalize small marijuana offenses. They then overwhelmingly voted in favor of legalizing medicinal marijuana in 2018. As it sits, only medicinal marijuana is permitted for use in the state of Missouri, but history and voter attitudes suggest that recreational legalization could be here as soon as 2022. Cannabis, if legalized, could take this market even higher.
Marijuana and Real Estate
According to the “Marijuana and Real Estate: A Budding Issue” report published by the National Association of REALTORS®, the legalization of Marijuana can have a positive effect on both residential and commercial markets.
“From property owners to manufacturers to those who simply want to engage for leisure – [marijuana] touches real estate in some form,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for the National Association of REALTORS®.
That’s in addition to a smoking hot real estate market. Already, Kansas City, Missouri property values have jumped a whopping 14% since this time last year. St. Louis property values, meanwhile, have shot up an even more impressive ~15%. Legalized marijuana, while not the sole driver of these prices, could push this market even further in the coming years.
The real bloom, however, will likely be in commercial real estate. According to the NAR study, 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.
“St. Louis is coming off one of its strongest years for industrial real estate,” writes Jacob Barker for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Of course, warehouses are already in demand. Thanks to the rise of e-commerce and changes in supply chains, warehouse space is already a precious commodity in the Midwest - which means there will be plenty of opportunities for Missouri real estate agents to roll in the green.
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