Welcome to Grow-klahoma
If there’s a place where cannabis is bound to take things to new heights, it’s Oklahoma. Already regarded as one of the easiest states in which to conduct business, Oklahoma’s medical cannabis industry has exploded, earning it the nickname “Toke-lahoma” among some circles. The industry is so big, in fact, ~8% of the state’s population — or more than 360,000 Oklahomans — have acquired medical marijuana cards since it was legalized for medicinal use in 2018. That makes Oklahoma home to the largest percentage of medical cardholders in the country, and that’s a great thing for real estate professionals.
Marijuana and Real Estate
According to “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] all touches real estate in some form,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for the National Association of REALTORS®.
The marijuana industry is a job creator and accounts for nearly 340,000 jobs nationwide. If recreational use becomes legal in the Sooner State, the job growth will likely result in more potential homebuyers and investors seeking their own “growth” potential. That would be a nice addition to an already impressive real estate forecast for Oklahoma. Additionally, real estate professionals could witness more cash deals take place.
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.
“It's good for business, the commercial real estate business — especially the business of rescuing, renovating and repurposing ratty retail shops and functionally obsolete warehouses,” Richard Mize writes in the Oklahoman.
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 Oklahoma. Cannabis, if legalized, could take this market even higher.
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 towards the substance that still persist today.
The Future of Marijuana in Oklahoma
If the state of Oklahoma follows the trend set by other marijuana-friendly states, the legalization of recreational marijuana is the next logical step. The last time it was on the ballot, four states — including Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota — all voted to legalize recreational use. Considering Oklahoma’s smoking hot medical market and the fact that the most recent Gallup poll suggests that 68% of U.S. adults are in favor of legalizing marijuana, legalization of weed in Oklahoma is more of a “when” and not “if”. The only question that remains is, are you ready to reach new highs in your career as a result?