Article by Global News
Canada’s impending legalization of marijuana is spurring demand for commercial real estate, particularly for retail shops in Alberta, where the government is selecting private operators to conduct over-the-counter sales, industry players said Tuesday.
Real estate consultancy JLL said its phone has been “ringing off the hook” as cannabis companies look to secure space to cultivate the plant and seek retail space to sell the final product.
Commercial real estate prices haven’t “seen a major bump yet”, but that is expected to change after legalization, research manager Gaurav Mathur said during a panel discussion at an industry conference in Toronto.
“It’s on an asset-by-asset basis, not prevalent throughout the industry just yet,” he said at the Land & Development conference on Tuesday.
Mathur also expects “offshoots” of the domestic cannabis industry, such as supply and accessories shops, to drive demand for commercial real estate going forward.
Canada is preparing for the legalization of cannabis for recreational use later this year, but has left it to the provincial or territorial governments to decide how to distribute the drug. Provinces such as Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have tasked their provincial liquor boards to handle retail sales of marijuana.