Marijuana is going mainstream as more states greenlight recreational usage. Today, 68% of Americans support legalization and nearly 1 in 3 Americans now live in a state where all adults have legal access to it. For perspective, only 12% of Americans favored legalizing cannabis in 1969.
Recreational states have deemed marijuana shops essential businesses during COVID-19, and they’ve remained open despite lockdowns. Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, now has more dispensaries than McDonald’s or Starbucks, and an economic stimulus to boot. Which brings us to the question of marijuana real estate — how has pot impacted the U.S. neighborhoods where it's budding?
We ran a study and survey using emerging research to take a closer look at marijuana’s impact on residential housing markets and how homeowners feel about dispensaries moving into the neighborhood.
Using data beginning in 2012, we found that:
- After legalizing recreational marijuana, home prices grew at rates above the national average in 60% of states: Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Maine, Nevada.
- States that have had legalized recreational marijuana longest (Colorado and Washington) have experienced the most housing growth.
- Despite positive trends in key housing markets, a slight majority of Americans (54%) still wouldn’t buy a home within one mile of a legal dispensary.
- People who live in the Northeast and home buyers aged 55-64 are most likely to oppose marijuana dispensaries in their neighborhoods.
Due to differing state laws, competing reports and a small state sample size, marijuana’s long-term impacts on residential real estate remain unclear but we were able to draw some conclusions about its initial impacts.