Montana Cannabis Legalization on Ballot

Montana Marijuana Ballot Measures
Montana Marijuana Ballot Measures

An effort to get two cannabis legalization measures on the ballot in Montana has succeeded. As a result, Montana voters will have the opportunity to weigh in this November on whether to legalize recreational marijuana use within state borders. What could this mean for cannabis companies who already operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Montana? Read on to learn more.

Campaign Secures Signatures to Get Cannabis Legalization on Montana Ballot

Medical cannabis is already legal in Montana, but now it appears that recreational cannabis could soon be legal in Montana as well. That’s because organizers of an effort to get cannabis legalization measures on the ballot in November 2020 were able to submit more than 130,000 signatures before the deadline.

The attempts to secure the required signatures in support of the Montana recreational cannabis legalization measures were made more difficult than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to social distancing guidelines, organizers had to work incredibly hard just to reach potential supporters. The difficulties posed by coronavirus-related social distancing requirements were magnified by a Montana court ruling in April that prevented the campaign from using electronic signatures.

Ultimately, despite the impediments, campaigners behind the effort to put the cannabis legalization measures on the Montana ballot succeeded. New Approach Montana submitted more than 130,000 signatures in July, but the group had to wait for state and local officials to verify the signatures. Now the signatures have been verified by county officials. Once the Montana Secretary of State’s Office officially certifies the signatures, Montana residents will be allowed to vote on the adult-use marijuana legalization measures in the upcoming election.

Montana Residents Will Vote on Recreational Marijuana Legalization

Two complementary cannabis legalization initiatives will appear on the 2020 ballot:

  • Statutory Initiative 190 (I-190): This ballot measure would create a system for regulating and taxing recreational cannabis sales in Montana. The statutory measure specifically calls for a 20% sales tax on marijuana sold at dispensaries.
  • Constitutional Initiative 118 (CI-118): This ballot measure would amend the Montana Constitution by setting the legal age for marijuana consumption in Montana at 21. In other words, cannabis operators in Montana would be prohibited from selling recreational marijuana to anyone under the age of 21.

After it was announced that the signatures had been verified and that Montana voters will get to cast votes on whether to legalize cannabis for recreational use, New Approach Montana issued a statement online. The group noted the incredible odds that they overcame and emphasized that their work was not yet done: “Now, we are focused on building support with voters from across the state.” In an email sent to supporters, New Approach Montana added that the group faces a fundraising problem because so much money needed to be spent on the signature drive due to the added difficulties of obtaining a massive number of signatures during a pandemic. Although it is unclear at this time if the Montana ballot measures will be successful, the popularity of recreational cannabis measures nationwide continues to grow: polls show that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

Additional Tax Revenues Expected from Cannabis Legalization in Montana

Dave Lewis, a former Montana state legislator, noted that the legalization of marijuana for recreational use could provide a huge boost to the Montana state budget. This would be particularly helpful for the state after the economic shutdown caused by COVID-19. According to Lewis, legalizing adult-use cannabis would add almost $50 million annually to the Montana budget. Similarly, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) estimated that the new laws in Montana would generate nearly $130 million in tax revenues for the state in just the first five (5) years.

Lewis added that these additional revenues are “vital to the future budget” of the state because projected tax revenues for 2020 and 2021 are expected to be significantly reduced from previous years, with many important services likely struggling to survive without state funding. These services in need of funding include veterans’ services, substance abuse treatment programs, and healthcare.

Contact Scythian for Information on Cannabis Real Estate Opportunities

Scythian Real Estate is a full-service real estate partner of the largest cannabis operators in the United States. Scythian provides cannabis companies with access to capital, resources, and expertise. To learn more, email Scythian Real Estate.


What Are the Most Popular Ways to Consume Cannabis?

Rolling Joint
Rolling Joint

It used to be true that cannabis users had limited options when it came to consuming marijuana because state and federal laws made it illegal to do so. The times have changed, however, and now recreational cannabis use is legal in around a dozen states and territories, while medical cannabis use is legal in more than 30 states. As more and more states allow cannabis operators to sell marijuana at dispensaries, the number of marijuana-related products and accessories has greatly expanded. So, too, has the number of ways that a person can consume cannabis.

Variety of Cannabis Products Sold at Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries

Not only are there more geographical areas in which cannabis use is legal, but there are also more cannabis companies and a wider range of cannabis products available to marijuana retail store customers. Since marijuana now comes readily available in a variety of different forms, this means that cannabis users have several different options for consuming marijuana: they can inhale it, eat it, drink it, or even apply it as a cream to their skin. Of course, the specific options available to consumers in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, or another state may vary, depending on the applicable state laws.

There are some of the most popular cannabis products that can be used to consume cannabis:

  • Flower: The most widely used cannabis product has long been the traditional cannabis flower, which can be smoked with bongs and bowls that are available at most dispensaries. Billions of dollars of flower products are sold each year in the U.S., owing largely to the fact that this is the most common form of medical marijuana.
  • Vape Cartridges: Vape concentrate cartridges are pre-filled with cannabis oil and then loaded into “vape pens” for use. The pre-filled vape cartridges can be found at many marijuana retail stores and are typically disposable after use, as opposed to more cost-effective refillable cartridges that can be reused multiple times.
  • Pre-Rolled Joints: Another way to inhale marijuana flower is through a joint, which many users have been rolling themselves for years. Cannabis companies have made inroads in this segment of the market by selling consumer-ready pre-rolled joints in a variety of strains, flavors, and levels of potency.
  • Gummies: The most popular edible for consuming marijuana is gummy candies. Users often enjoy the chewiness of gummies, as well as the flavor contrasts offered by sweet and sour candies infused with cannabis. Several cannabis companies specialize in gummies that contain cannabis oil.
  • Chocolate Bars: Another edible that generates significant sales at legal cannabis dispensaries is chocolate bars, which can satisfy the user’s sweet tooth while also allowing for easy consumption of cannabis. In addition to chocolate bars, other popular forms of marijuana edibles include chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and taffy.
  • Dropper: Cannabis droppers allow an individual to easily consume marijuana by dosing a liquid cannabis concentrate directly from a glass bottle into the user’s mouth. The liquid concentrate, also known as a “cannabis tincture,” comes in different flavors. The ease of use, variety of available flavor options, and ability to control and customize doses have led to a surge in popularity for dropper use in states where recreational marijuana is legal.
  • Topical Products: Many cannabis consumers use cannabis-infused creams, gels, lotions, balms, lubricants, oils, and ointments to treat certain ailments. These cannabis topicals can be easily applied to the skin and provide the user with relief from moderate to severe pain, soreness, and inflammation.
  • Wax: An alternative to shatter cannabis is wax cannabis, which is a highly potent type of hash oil concentrate with the consistency of sticky wax (or ear wax). Although weed wax might not be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it does provide users with a strong high and up to 90% THC content.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate

Cannabis operators looking to expand into new states may find that the preferences of customers in these markets can vary. A proven cannabis real estate fund like Scythian Real Estate can assist cannabis companies with their operations as they look to open additional dispensaries. Scythian is a trusted real estate partner of major U.S. cannabis companies like The Green Solution and Grassroots Cannabis.

For more information, email Scythian Real Estate today.


When Will Mexico Legalize Marijuana?

Mexico Marijuana Legalization
Mexico Marijuana Legalization

There is growing expectation that Mexico will eventually legalize marijuana for recreational use, allowing the country to enter the legal weed market and start generating significant revenues. When this does finally happen, sophisticated cannabis operators will surely flock south of the border to open dispensaries and savvy investors may take a long, hard look at cannabis real estate investing options in Mexico. But recent developments indicate that it still might be a while before Mexico makes it legal for residents to purchase recreational cannabis.

Recreational Marijuana and Medical Marijuana Legal in Many Countries

Medical marijuana is currently legal in dozens of countries, but just two countries have legalized recreational marijuana: Uruguay in 2013 and Canada in 2018. A number of U.S. states and territories have legalized cannabis for recreational use, but the vast majority of states still prohibit recreational cannabis sales. While many countries have already legalized medical cannabis, the legalization of recreational cannabis in these countries has taken a bit more time. This is an important distinction because the need to wait for a physician’s prescription is still a major inhibitor on legal cannabis sales.

One of the driving forces behind the push to legalize cannabis for recreational use in Mexico and other nations around the globe is that recreational marijuana sales provide a huge boost to national economies. In the United States, the states that have legalized recreational marijuana have already seen the positive effects it can have on their local economies. For instance, Colorado recently set an all-time record for legal cannabis revenue in a single month, which means more tax dollars for the state.

Global Cannabis Market Is Booming

Global sales of marijuana have more than tripled since 2014, when several U.S. states first started to legalize cannabis for recreational use. In 2018, worldwide sales of cannabis totaled nearly $11 billion. This figure is expected to reach as high as $50 billion annually by 2030, with a large percentage of legal weed sales and the bulk of retail marijuana revenue coming from the United States and Canada.

One North American country that is not yet generating legal cannabis revenue is Mexico. That’s because Mexico has yet to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But there is a belief among many industry observers that Mexico will be the next country to legalize recreational cannabis.

How Long Before Mexico Legalizes Recreational Cannabis?

In 2018, the Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the government could not ban the possession or use of marijuana because doing so would be a violation of the Mexican constitution. This was actually the fifth time that the highest court in Mexico had issued such a ruling in favor of recreational cannabis. But this did not mean that retail dispensaries could start opening across the country and selling cannabis and cannabis-related products. First, Mexican lawmakers would have to pass legislation for the regulation of the cannabis industry within the country’s borders.

Unfortunately for cannabis operators looking to establish a presence south of the border, legislators have taken their time crafting the legislation required to create a legal cannabis market in Mexico. The Mexico Supreme Court sensed that the legal framework would not be finished before an October 2019 deadline, so the court extended the deadline to the end of April 2020. Now, once again, the Mexican Supreme Court has extended the deadline for legalizing recreational cannabis in the country: lawmakers now have until December 15, 2020 to officially end the prohibition of recreational cannabis in Mexico. This extension was deemed necessary because of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down many businesses in Mexico and limited the ability of legislators to convene.

What Will the Mexican Cannabis Market Look Like After Legalization?

Cannabis retail operators will likely be very interested in exactly what shape the finalized legislative proposal looks like when Mexican lawmakers eventually get around to passing a law to legalize recreational marijuana. Some of the most important aspects of any cannabis law are likely to include:

  • Possession of small amounts of marijuana will be decriminalized.
  • Adults who are 18 years and older will be legally allowed to purchase cannabis for personal use.
  • Adults will also be able to cultivate cannabis for personal use, with certain limitations on the number of registered marijuana plants and the weight of marijuana yield annually.
  • Cannabis businesses will be able to apply for licenses to sell marijuana in retail dispensaries. These cannabis business licenses would be issued by the Mexican Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis.
  • Cannabis sold at Mexican dispensaries would be subject to taxation at a rate of 12%.

Certain other aspects of cannabis legalization in Mexico remain unclear. For instance, it has not yet been determined whether marijuana edibles and marijuana-infused drinks will be legalized as well.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate

Although recreational marijuana is not yet legal in Mexico, it is legal in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, and several other states in the U.S. Scythian Real Estate is a full-service real estate partner to some of the biggest cannabis operators in the United States. Scythian also manages a growing real estate portfolio focused primarily on retail marijuana dispensaries. For more information, email Scythian Real Estate today.


Cannabis Expected to Boost U.S. Economy in Future

Cannabis & US Economy
Cannabis & US Economy

Many cannabis industry observers believe that marijuana businesses could provide a boost to the U.S. economy of more than $130 billion annually by 2024. This figure includes both projected sales by dispensaries in states where cannabis is legal and the additional economic impact of retail marijuana businesses in those states.

Cannabis Industry Generates Billions of Dollars for Local Cities and States

Despite the devastating effects of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy, the retail cannabis industry is thriving as more people than ever are purchasing recreational marijuana and medical marijuana from dispensaries across the country. It is estimated that legal cannabis sales will total more than $50 billion in 2020. Last year, U.S. dispensaries made roughly $46 billion in sales. By 2024, the total sales of cannabis in the United States could be as much as $130 billion – representing a 181% increase from just five (5) years earlier.

The reach of the United States cannabis industry is not limited to just the revenues generated by businesses that sell legal cannabis. The cannabis industry also has a significant impact on the entire U.S. economy by injecting money into local cities and states. In fact, the actual economic value of every $1 spent at marijuana dispensaries is calculated to be $2.50. This means that the overall contribution of the cannabis industry to the economy can be felt in other industries as well, whether it is through:

  • Tourism in recreational marijuana states where visitors may want the thrill of purchasing a previously illicit substance.
  • Real estate and construction activity to build and renovate cultivation sites, manufacturing facilities, and retail dispensaries.
  • Taxes on legal cannabis sales, which can provide state and local governments with hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for important public works programs.

Retail Marijuana Sales Remain Strong During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a great deal of uncertainty among cannabis industry insiders because no one really knew how the public might react to business shutdown orders and local stay-at-home orders. But it appears that many legal weed businesses are doing better than ever. One possible reason for the continued success of retail cannabis dispensaries during the coronavirus crisis is the special exception that was made for these types of businesses: cities and states across the country declared that medical and recreational marijuana stores were “essential businesses” and, as such, could remain open despite shutdown orders for most other retail establishments.

Another reason that marijuana businesses have been able to withstand the financial devastation felt by other industries during the pandemic is that the fundamentals of the cannabis industry are quite strong: demand for marijuana remains high, new dispensaries are generating more jobs for marijuana cultivators and retail workers, and capital has been made available to cannabis operators through sale-leaseback transactions. These fundamentals also bode well for the future of the industry because they mean that any short-term downturn in retail sales could potentially be offset by anticipated long-term gains for cannabis operators and investors.

Contact Scythian to Learn About Cannabis Real Estate Opportunities

The cannabis industry figures to be an important part of the U.S. economy in the years ahead. This provides cannabis operators and cannabis investors with a real opportunity to make money. Scythian Real Estate Fund is a Denver-based company with an expanding portfolio of nationwide cannabis real estate assets valued at approximately $40 million, as well as an acquisition pipeline of additional assets in numerous states.

For more information about cannabis real estate, email Scythian today.


Medical Cannabis Sales Surge in Arkansas

Arkansas Medical Marijuana
Arkansas Medical Marijuana

Since Arkansas made it legal for cannabis to be purchased for medical use in May 2019, total sales of medical marijuana at dispensaries in the state have exceeded $100 million. The data comes from a report issued by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. Interested observers of the cannabis real estate market are paying careful attention to what happens in Arkansas because the results could dictate whether the state eventually legalizes cannabis for recreational use.

Medical Marijuana Licenses Issued to Arkansas Cannabis Operators

Arkansas first made it legal for patients to buy medical cannabis in November 2016, when voters supported a state constitutional amendment. Approximately 53 percent of Arkansas voters supported that law, which allows up to 40 dispensaries to receive licenses to sell medical marijuana in the state.

Licenses to operate a dispensary are issued by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission, which is governed by the Department and Finance and Administration. The commission has been tasked with both administering the licenses and regulating the cannabis operators to whom licenses are issued.

As of August 2020, Arkansas has issued a total of 33 licenses for cannabis operators to run medical marijuana dispensaries within state borders. Most of the dispensaries are already operational, with 26 retail marijuana stores now selling medical cannabis after new stores recently opened in Arkadelphia, Heber Springs, Monticello, and West Memphis, AR.

Arkansas Medical Cannabis Program Sees Rise in Retail Sales

Arkansas has more than 68,000 registered patients in the state’s medical cannabis program. According to state records released by the Arkansas Department of Health, those patients have purchased nearly 17,500 pounds of marijuana in the past year.

The dispensary that accounted for the highest number of sales during a recent two-week period listed in state records is the ReLeaf Center in Bentonville, Arkansas. The medical marijuana store reported selling nearly 200 pounds of cannabis to patients over two weeks. Since the ReLeaf Center first opened in August 2019, the dispensary has sold almost 2,000 pounds of medical cannabis.

The Arkansas Tax Procedure Act does not allow the state to release revenue totals for dispensaries, so public records of sales for each retail marijuana store are calculated in terms of the weight of pot sold. In terms of the total amount of revenue generated by medical cannabis sales in Arkansas, the numbers appear to be rising. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, which oversees the Arkansas Revenue Office, reported that state residents are now spending more than $500,000 per day on medical marijuana.

Contact Scythian Real Estate to Learn About Expanding Cannabis Operations in New States

The surge in medical cannabis sales in Arkansas mirrors the booming cannabis market in other states like Colorado, Illinois, and New York. As more and more states legalize cannabis for medical and/or recreational use, it is likely that savvy investors will look to capitalize.

Scythian Real Estate specializes in cannabis real estate. Scythian partners with sophisticated cannabis companies in sale-leaseback deals and manages a growing cannabis real estate portfolio. For additional information, email Scythian now.


Majority of Americans Support Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana Legalization

The overwhelming majority of Americans support nationwide legalization of cannabis. The results of a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicate that approximately 66% of U.S. residents believe that the use of marijuana should be legal for both recreational and medical purposes. The strong support for marijuana legalization in the United States bodes well for cannabis operators who are looking to expand to new geographical areas, as well as forward-thinking investors in the cannabis real estate market.

Increasing Support for Legalizing Cannabis in the United States

An increasing number of Americans have voiced support for legalizing cannabis over the last two decades. The recent survey results showing that two-thirds of Americans want the federal government to make cannabis use legal continues a trend: while nearly 66% of Americans opposed cannabis legalization in 2000 and roughly 50% opposed marijuana legalization in 2010, the number opposing legalization has fallen to just 32% today.

The most recent survey was conducted as part of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, which is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults. The survey found that while one-third of U.S. residents still do not believe that cannabis should be legal for recreational purposes, more than 90% of Americans believe that cannabis should at least be legal for medical purposes. Moreover, the strong support for cannabis legalization efforts goes well beyond active users of cannabis: just 48% of American adults indicate ever having tried marijuana.

Impact of Politics on Federal Cannabis Legalization Efforts

As might be expected, there is a partisan divide when it comes to legalizing marijuana in the United States. The Pew survey found that 78% of self-identified Democrats think that cannabis should be legal, while just 55% of self-identified Republicans want cannabis to be made legal across the country. Interestingly, the partisan divide shrinks considerably when factoring in generational differences: 71% of Millennial Republicans support marijuana legalization, as compared to 78% of Millennial Democrats.

The differences and similarities between the country’s two main political parties when it comes to endorsing pot legalization efforts gives some indication of how important the upcoming 2020 presidential election could be for legalization measures in various states. Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) have legalized cannabis for recreational use, while 33 states have legalized cannabis for medical use.

Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. Depending on who is elected president in November – Donald Trump or Joe Biden – it is possible that more states could push to legalize cannabis for recreational and/or medical use in the next four years. This would likely have significant consequences for the cannabis industry as a whole. It would also be of particular importance to cannabis retail operators and cannabis investors who would no doubt look to take advantage of opportunities to enter new markets.

Contact Scythian for Information on Cannabis Real Estate Opportunities

Scythian Real Estate is a trusted real estate partner of cannabis operators in several states, including Colorado, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Scythian specializes in sale-leaseback opportunities with sophisticated operators and is continuing to build its acquisition pipeline across the country. These acquisitions are currently valued at around $40 million, with 19 assets under management. For additional information about cannabis real estate, email Scythian Real Estate.


Colorado Cannabis Sales Hit Record High

Colorado Cannabis Sales
Colorado Cannabis Sales

Retail cannabis sales in Colorado are at an all-time high. Data from the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division indicates that almost $200 million worth of cannabis products were legally sold within state borders during the month of May. This is obviously good news for cannabis operators with retail dispensaries in Colorado.

Sales of Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Use at All-Time High in Colorado

Colorado legalized the recreational use of cannabis in 2014, and now the state has hit a new monthly record for marijuana sales. State records show that Colorado retail marijuana dispensaries sold $192,175,937 worth of cannabis and cannabis-related products in May 2020, which is the most recent month for which data is available. This represents a month-over-month increase of 29% from April 2020 and a year-over-year increase of 32% from May 2019.

The massive amount of money being raked in by dispensaries in Denver, Aurora, Fort Collins, and elsewhere in Colorado includes both recreational and medical marijuana shops. The numbers indicate that recreational marijuana accounted for just over $149 million in sales in May, while medical marijuana accounted for almost $43 million in sales in May.

During the first five (5) months of 2020, dispensaries sold more than $779 million worth of cannabis products. This has been a huge boon to the state by generating more than $167 million in taxes and fees, which has always been one of the main arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana at the federal and state level.

Why Are Colorado Cannabis Dispensaries Making So Much Money in 2020?

One possible reason for the major uptick in marijuana sales is the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in Colorado dispensaries being declared “essential businesses” while many other Colorado retail stores were being ordered to shut down. Additionally, many people have used marijuana as an outlet for stress and relief from anxiety caused by COVID-19.

Another possible factor in the recent rise in cannabis sales could be a substantial price drop in marijuana. Marijuana products such as flowers and cannabis buds have seen their average price decline by almost 10% since the beginning of the year, making the items more affordable to the typical consumer. As a result, the Colorado marijuana market has seen significant growth in 2020 with seemingly no end in sight.

Contact Scythian to Learn About Cannabis Real Estate Opportunities

It has become apparent that 2020 is likely to be the highest-grossing year on record for Colorado marijuana dispensaries, with cannabis sales in the first half of the year far outpacing sales in 2019. This bodes well for Colorado cannabis operators, as well as anyone who has invested in cannabis real estate in this thriving market.

Scythian Real Estate is a privately held cannabis real estate fund that partners with sophisticated, well-capitalized cannabis companies on assets primarily intended for retail use. To learn more, email Scythian Real Estate.


NY Protects Medical Marijuana Patients from Eviction

NY Cannabis Eviction Law
NY Cannabis Eviction Law

The New York State Senate recently passed a bill that will prevent landlords from evicting tenants because of medical marijuana use. The legislation specifically ensures that tenants who lawfully use medical cannabis are shielded from eviction proceedings in New York. What could the new eviction law mean for cannabis operators who are looking to make inroads in NY’s medical cannabis market?

New York Law to Protect Medical Cannabis Patients Gets Bipartisan Support

The NY eviction bill was sponsored by Democratic Senator Anna Kaplan, who represents New York’s 7th State Senate district that runs from the North Shore to Western Nassau County in Long Island. (The three co-sponsors of the bill were also Democratic state senators: Robert Jackson, Brian Kavanagh, and John C. Liu.) The legislation received overwhelming bipartisan support, with 58 senators voting in favor of it and just two (2) senators voting against it.

NY lawmakers determined that the legislation was necessary after a 78-year-old Niagara Falls man was evicted by a private landlord from his federally subsidized housing for using medical cannabis to treat chronic pain. The justification for the eviction was that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a strict policy of evicting anyone caught using marijuana on the premises. That policy is in line with federal law that prohibits the use of marijuana for either recreational or medical purposes; however, it does not match the state law in New York that allows for the use of marijuana by patients with a valid prescription.

After a Region II administrator with HUD went to social media to issue a statement about NY state law being at odds with federal law, the landlord in Niagara Falls rescinded the eviction decision. But the possibility remained that more tenants in New York could face eviction proceedings and other legal consequences in the future due to the lack of clarity regarding differing state and federal laws on medical cannabis use. Members of the New York State Senate feared that more NY residents could potentially be forced out of their homes by landlords who want to make sure that they comply with the federal prohibition of all marijuana.

Conflict Between NY Law and Federal Law on Medical Marijuana

Under NY state law, it is lawful for a person with a qualified medical condition and a valid prescription from a licensed physician to obtain medical cannabis. The law to end the prohibition against medical marijuana in New York was passed as part of the Compassionate Care Act in 2014. The New York State Department of Health subsequently implemented the NY Medical Marijuana Program, which allows for the use of medical cannabis to treat certain qualifying conditions, such as cancer, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis. There are safeguards in place to ensure that only individuals with qualifying medical conditions can legally obtain cannabis in New York.

But individuals who legally use medical marijuana in New York still face potential legal consequences because federal law continues to ban marijuana. That is why NY legislators stepped in. The legislation amends the NY real property actions and proceedings law by adding a new section. This new section in the real property law makes it clear that individuals who use medical marijuana cannot be evicted from their homes solely on the basis of using the doctor-prescribed cannabis by stipulating that “a tenant shall not be removed from a residential unit because of their certified medical use of marijuana.”

A landlord who wishes to evict a tenant on grounds other than medical marijuana use will still be able to do so. That’s because the new law provides landlords with a rebuttable defense that allows them to show that they are seeking to recover possession of a residential unit on some other lawful ground.

What Are the Next Steps for Recreational Cannabis Legalization in NY?

After passing in the NY State Senate, the medical marijuana eviction bill was sent to the New York State Assembly and then referred to the Assembly Housing Committee.

New York legislators have tried for years to get recreational cannabis use legalized in the state. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has put an adult-use cannabis legalization provision in his budget over the last two years. Now those efforts are picking up steam as some progressive advocates argue that legalizing marijuana could be an important component of police reform efforts in New York.

Contact Scythian Cannabis Real Estate Today

Scythian Real Estate is a trusted partner of multiple cannabis companies operating in both recreational marijuana states and medical marijuana states throughout the U.S. Scythian has leveraged the expertise and experience of its executive team to build a strong portfolio of cannabis real estate assets valued at roughly $40 million.

For information about the Scythian Real Estate Fund, send an email today.