Before you take the plunge and lease a property for a marijuana dispensary, there are a few strategic choices you should carefully review and make sure you have fully considered. We will take a look at five specific questions you should ask yourself prior to signing any dispensary leasing agreement:
1. Are the physical features of the property sufficient?
First and foremost, carefully evaluate the property in order to ensure that its physical features fit not only your immediate needs but that they also will provide you room to grow in the future. Having sufficient warehouse and storage space, enough floor space for customers, bathrooms, processing rooms, and everything else you need is perhaps the single most important consideration. You’ll also want to ensure you have a sufficient shipping and receiving area, customer parking, and good road access as well.
2. Are there forthcoming legal developments which may affect business?
Another important consideration when evaluating locations for your marijuana dispensary are upcoming state or local legal developments that may potentially impact your business. Consult a local attorney to discuss these issues. Zoning or compliance policies may be up for review in the near future, or other legal questions decided that may make you prefer one location over another to lease a property for a dispensary.
3. What are the local demographics and traffic patterns
ou can dramatically improve your chances of opening a successful cannabis dispensary by carefully analyzing local demographics and traffic patterns, in order to make sure that your facility is located in an ideal area. Lease a property for a dispensary in a highly walkable neighborhood or area to increase foot traffic, and select a central location that has excellent roadway access to ensure clients find visiting your dispensary convenient and easy.
4. Is the local area cannabis positive?
Doing a little investigation into the beliefs and attitudes of the community you are looking to lease a property for a dispensary in can often help you avoid a number of unpleasant situations. Despite the fact that state law may permit the sale or usage of cannabis, in many communities municipal or local sentiment is still very much against marijuana in principle. This can lead to local efforts to deny you a license, or the withdrawal of support for your dispensary once open. Choosing an area which has a healthy, cannabis-positive attitude can help you avoid this potential quagmire.
5. Is the lessor fully onboard legally and financially?
One thing you will absolutely want to confirm is that the lessor is fully aware of your intended commercial activity on their property and that they have specifically modified their lease to accommodate your occupancy in a way that best protects the both of you from potential legal ramifications. In some states, the property owner can be held jointly liable and have their assets seized despite not directly participating in the sale of cannabis whatsoever, should legal or compliance issues arise; you will want to maintain an honest and open relationship with your lessor at all times in order to minimize risk.
6. Have I carefully read and agree with all lease provisions?
The final thing you should do before you lease a property for a dispensary is to have your attorney evaluate all the customized provisions the lessor may have added to the document, and make sure you agree with all of them. Typically these sorts of provisions will entail limited use clauses, covenants that the tenant vows to abide by all state and local laws, early termination clauses in case one or the other party violates the lease, and other modifications of this nature.
These are some of the most important considerations you should evaluate prior to signing any sort of leasing agreement for your dispensary. Ensuring that the property itself will be sufficient for your needs, that the local legal climate is stable, that you have chosen the best possible fit to local commercial usage patterns, and that the lessor is fully onboard with the proposal – and that you fully agree to the final language of the document, will help you set yourself up for future success.