What some are calling a “Green Rush” is underway in Reno as marijuana growers and retailers snap up properties to start up dispensaries The investors are pushing up prices for retail space.
Investors from California, Colorado, Arizona and Washington are signing lease agreements for warehouses, commercial kitchens and retail to set up operations in the Reno-Sparks area.
The Nevada Medical Marijuana Association estimates that prices on properties that may qualify for licenses are up 10 to 30 percent.
“Sit down, grab some popcorn and watch the show because it is going to be an amazing a ride,” says Shane Smith, an Arizona marijuana investor who is anticipating the state will have hundreds of competing applications.
Smith has a number of properties, one of which he’s agreed to pay double the previous lease price. He’s trying to reduce the competition.
“Eliminating as many of those applicants as possible is definitely vital," says Smith, "and I think that this is kind of a tool for the rest of us very serious players.”
He says there are bidding wars for some properties. Last week the Reno City Council lifted the ban on dispensaries and directed staff to develop zoning requirements.