Regardless of your area of real estate expertise, your real estate market, or where you stand on the issue of legalized marijuana, the impact of marijuana use and production continues to be felt across the country…and throughout the real estate industry. That impact will only continue to grow as more states legalize marijuana use for medical and recreational purposes.

From illegal grow houses to commercial dispensaries -- and from landlord/tenant issues to employer/employee concerns -- this topic offers articles, reports, and other resources to help “clear the air” for residential and commercial real estate practitioners, property managers, and brokerage managers alike.

This Window to the Law video examines the legal issues that a real estate professional may encounter as marijuana becomes legal for both medical and recreational use in many U.S. jurisdictions. View a slide presentation here.

Political Advocacy

What is the fundamental issue?

Thirty-six states, the District of Columbia, and all four U.S. territoris have legalized cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational purposes, however cannabis remains illegal on a federal level. Many cannabis-related businesses that are registered within their respective states experience major challenges accessing financial services due to the legal status of the cannabis industry on a federal level. The cannabis industry remains a cash business, which can be dangerous and challenging for both business owners and communities. Many financial institutions have been reluctant to provide financial services to cannabis-related businesses, because of the legal risks. Alternatively, a small number of state banks and credit unions are currently providing financial services to cannabis related businesses at their own risk.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

There are thirty-six (36) states that have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes and ten (10) states and the District of Columbia that have approved cannabis for recreational use. This issue is likely to impact the real estate industry, as business owners may seek to acquire real estate or may need financing for cannabis-related businesses. It is imperative that real estate professionals continue to track and monitor state cannabis laws, as the industry grows and state laws vary on this issue.

NAR Policy:

NAR supports the rights of states and residents of those states to create laws aligned with state and resident interests.  NAR supports allowing businesses that are properly registered and that are legitimate by state standards to have the ability to access banking services.   

NAR does not have a position on cannabis legalization.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (S.910 in the Senate and H.R. 1996 in the House) is designed to provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that provide banking services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses. This legislation is sponsored by Sens. Merkley (D-OR) and Daines (R-MT) in the Senate, and Reps. Perlmutter (D-CO), Stivers (R-OH), Velazquz (D-NY) and Davidson (R-OH) in the House. This legislation ensures that financial institutions are legally protected when providing financial services to cannabis-related businesses.

On April 19, 2021 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1996 by a bipartisan vote of 321-101.

NAR Committee:

Commercial Federal Policy Committee


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

Impact on Property Value

New Study: How Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Impacts Home Values (Clever, Mar. 1, 2021)

Marijuana Real Estate: How Recreational Pot Is Impacting the Neighborhood (The Zebra, Feb. 18, 2021)

Retail Marijuana Deregulation and Housing Prices (University of Oklahoma Department of Economics, Jun. 10, 2020)

The Pot Rush: Is Legalized Marijuana a Positive Local Amenity? (Economic Inquiry, Apr. 2020) E

Contact High: The External Effects of Retail Marijuana Establishments on House Prices (Real Estate Economics, Spring 2020) E

Property Management Concerns

Legalized Marijuana and Its Impact on Your Rental Properties (Rental Housing Journal, Dec. 21, 2020)

Things to Consider When Leasing to A Medical Marijuana Dispensary (Morris Commercial Real Estate Solutions, Oct. 14, 2020)

Understanding Impacts of the Cannabis Industry on Property Management (IREM, Oct. 14, 2019)

How Today’s Rental Property Owners Can Prepare for Marijuana Legislation (WealthManagement.com, Aug. 5, 2019)

Real Estate Opportunities

Florida Pot Shops Have Retail Landlords Seeing Green (Commercial Observer, Apr. 29, 2021)

What Is A Cannabis REIT? (JDSupra, Apr. 26, 2021)

Cannabis Real Estate Boom in the Northeast (Green Market Report, Apr. 12, 2021)

Small Landlords Could See Big Benefits of Marijuana Legalization (Crain’s New York Business, Apr. 5, 2021) E

The Cannabis Business Is Proving Resilient. Will More CRE Investors Give It a Chance? (WealthManagement.com, Aug. 31, 2020)

How COVID-19 Has Changed the State of Cannabis Real Estate (International Council of Shopping Centers, Apr. 24, 2020)

Marijuana and Real Estate: A Budding Issue (National Association of REALTORS®, Apr. 2021)

Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

Marijuana Laws Affecting the Workplace: Tools Employers Can Use to Stay Ahead During High Times (The National Law Review, May 1, 2021)

How Will Evolving Marijuana Laws Impact the Workplace in 2021? (SHRM, Mar. 16, 2021)

Managing Medical Marijuana at Workplace Amid Evolving State and Local Law (JDSupra, Dec. 1, 2020)

Guidelines for Employers as More States Legalize Marijuana (Husch Blackwell, Nov. 20, 2020)

Cannabis & Employment Laws (National Conference of State Legislatures, Nov. 2, 2020)

Cannabis at Work: How Employers Are Reacting to the Legalization of Marijuana (Business News Daily, Jun. 10, 2020)

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

American Landlord Law (Kindle, eBook)

The Complete Landlord.com Ultimate Landlord Handbook (Kindle, eBook)

Complete Landlord and Property Managers Legal Survival Kit (eBook)

Every Landlord's Legal Guide (eBook)

Strategies for Working with Small Tenants (Kindle, eBook)

What Every Landlord Needs to Know (Kindle, eBook)

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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.