​Michigan & the Marijuana Debate

Posted on April 20, 2018. Filed under: Informed Investor Alliance, Property Mangement, Real Estate Stories | Tags: , , , , , |

IMG_9279This blog post comes from deep in the country of MI, a little township called Richmond. My grandparents have owned property there since before I was born, and two years ago my sister, cousin, & I purchased their 10 acres of land; because it is ‘Our Happy Place’. Recently we received a postcard invitation to attend a town hall meeting & have a discussion on whether or not Richmond residents will ‘opt in’ to any or all aspects surrounding Canna-biz.

California is such a progressive state – we always seem to be one of the first to embrace new ideals and directions. It’s been interesting to follow our evolution from viewing marijuana as a problem to recognizing marijuana as a solution. Other states are still struggling with this. Like really struggling. We thought it might be helpful to see how property values have fared in states that have opted for recreational marijuana….are they up in smoke?

The first article we came across is by the University of Wisconsin and states there is a positive correlation found between property values and cannabis:

http://www.westword.com/marijuana/marijuana-dispensaries-linked-to-rising-denver-home-prices-by-university-of-wisconsin-study-9531562

As all of us know, we can pretty much find an article to support any angle, and this one claims it ‘could’ affect values:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article173621656.html

So I dug deeper. I conducted a couple phone interviews with highly respected Realtors in states that offer recreational reefer.

First call was to Kerri Hartnett, past President of the Portland, Oregon Association of Realtors. Kerri is a single mom, homeowner, & a business owner. She explained that Oregonians are fighting things that increase property tax or limit land use. It is a liberal state but there are still plenty of old school attitudes. Particularly, there’s an attitude anyone who makes money is evil. (I also heard this in the Richmond MI meeting) She said that it’s too soon to really tell if marijuana affects property values either way. That said, she is seeing challenges such as title companies not wanting to insure properties of that sort. She’s also seeing income from Cannabis not ‘qualifying’, and loans getting denied. Furthermore, Oregon’s tax structure setup is at point of sale, not point of grow. This has caused issues with crime since the $$$ isn’t going back to the grow area. She feels these are all challenges with any new type of industry, so the wrinkles will get ironed out eventually and there will a proper balance.

Other calls made had similiar results. I did not hear from ONE active real estate agent that property values have been affected in a negative way. Here in California, I’m seeing & hearing positive appreciation, especially in the commercial realm.

Back to the Richmond, MI town hall meeting. Residents weren’t just concerned with money or equity (OMG). Obviously bringing cannabis into our homes and neighborhoods is about much more than that. What shocked me were some of the fears and world views on cannabis that a small town community…farming community of all things.. has. I wondered if they were backed by facts, and wanted to share what I found.

Cannabis & Kids

kidOf course, family is a huge concern. People didn’t want to expose ‘that’ to their children. Others felt their children might get lured into a world of addiction. Yikes & no thanks! But is that really what’s happening out there? Are we setting up our kids to fail? Here’s an article from the Washington Post that states 12th grade kids in Colorado are no more likely to engage in the ganja than they were before.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/wonk/wp/2016/12/29/what-happened-in-washington-state-after-voters-legalized-recreational-weed/

Jobs & the Weed Industry

170809073246_1_900x600Another comment made by some folks at the meeting is they did not want to drive in their beautiful town & see the landscape all changed up with mega-sized industrial and commercial grow buildings. Richmond does pride itself on being stuck in time, and it’s honestly one of the things I love about it. I am seeing these enormous commercial buildings purchased frequently in CA’s Inland Empire, but in MI they would need to be built or we could repurpose existing eyesores. This means that proactive towns have the opportunity to define what that looks like. If you’re in an area having this debate – get involved & voice your opinion so you don’t end up with a green dispensary next door! My suggestion for MI: make it look like a barn. And if you want to talk about EYESORES….how bout you do something about your real barn that has been falling down plank by plank for the last 20 years??? (just sayin, ppl)

I’m all for the landscape, but let’s lean into what those buildings could do for the town. MI as a whole has been struggling with unemployment for a long time with all the car factories relocating, and less blue collar needs in general. On top of that… farmers have struggled to make a living there as mega farms take over. Here’s an article from Forbes that discusses how many jobs the marijuana industry will create. As a Realtor, I know anything that creates jobs helps keep people in homes, & eventually buy bigger homes. And then businesses. It’s the necessary circle of life in a healthy community of any size.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/02/22/marijuana-industry-projected-to-create-more-jobs-than-manufacturing-by-2020/amp/

What’s in the water?

Another voiced concern was what kind of chemicals we are putting into our water & soil with this potential ‘opt in’ status. I was SO glad to hear the town residents thinking this through. We don’t want to hurt our precious land in any way. According to MI law, no pesticides are permitted when growing medical marijuana. If they find pesticides, they have to throw the crop away. According to section 31(3) of the MI Marihuana Facilities licensing act:

Except as otherwise provided, if a sample collected pursuant to Rule 32 or provided to a safety compliance facility pursuant to these rules does not pass the microbial, mycotoxin, heavy metal, pesticide chemical residue, or residual solvents levels test based on these rules, the marihuana facility that provided the sample shall dispose of the entire batch from which the sample was taken and document the disposal of the sample using the statewide monitoring system pursuant to the act, marihuana tracking act, and these rules.

Such a relief that home and landowners are already covered on this matter. We don’t want to end up famous like Flint.

Dude, You Stink

There were multiple residents who were very concerned about the smell of cannabis penetrating their property. Personally, this cracked me up a bit since the town has smelled like cow booty for like 20 years. But again as a Realtor smell is a REAL concern. I have had plenty of listings struggle to sell because of tobacco, pet, and food smells. Is marijuana next on my list???  Maybe…according to this article 30% of smell complaints in Colorado are related to marijuana. On the other hand, the smell has not been deemed hazaradous in any way:

http://projects.registerguard.com/rg/news/local/34040437-75/as-oregon-pot-grows-proliferate-so-do-complaints-about-plants-odor.html.csp

I’m curious if anyone reading this has experienced the issue. Please comment. I have a home in Santa Ana, where there are a TON of in home grows & dispensaries, and I have never noticed anything, personally. Have you?

Cannabis & Violent Crimes

It was stated there were shootings at Port Huron dispensaries, & we are inviting a ton of crime onto our precious Richmond soil. Whoa. That’s hefty. I tried to find the articles to support that, and couldn’t find any shootings that were directly related. If you do have an article supporting this, please share it!

Although every area is still going to have crime, statistically speaking, marijuana does nothing to increase violent crimes (aka shootings) according to Internet Fact-Checker, Snopes:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/marijuana-legalization-violent-crime/

PTSD & Cannabis

PTSDvetsThe saddest moment of the meeting to me was when a Veteran stood up and said he was a medical cannabis patient and he truly tried every ‘drug’ to help the anxiety until he came across marijuana. He said marijuana helped him heal & he encouraged the attendees to view it as medicine. Another VA had the nerve to speak up & say he went to war too & didn’t need any of that. To me….how dare any of us judge what heals another. I was tempted to stand up and shout that the real poisonous drugs were the Big Pharma ones in everyone’s medicine cabinet…but that would not have went over well hahaha! Baby steps people… Start by watching The Truth About Cancer Episode 8 & Disjointed on Netflix. Whether you do or you don’t….others are finding relief to both physical & mental issues with CBD & cannabis.

Just the Facts

 

The attorney’s presenting facts to the town were great and kept it neutral. They told me I can find their presentation for the city of Sterling Heights on this matter via YouTube…but alas I cannot locate 😦 If you have a link, please share! The people there were anything but neutral, though. I appreciate a healthy debate and encourage homeowners on either side to comment here & keep commenting to your elected officials. It was nice to see Richmond’s attitude, particularly Richmond Township Supervisor Cynthia Greenia truly seemed invested in discovering & delivering what the residents want. That was refreshing, just like our pond’s water 🙂

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3 Responses to “​Michigan & the Marijuana Debate”

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Wow, great comments. I didn’t think about the smell. Obviously it does, but it’s fascinating to know that it’s 30% of the complaints in CO!

Thanks Kristi! I found that fascinating too. I’m sure some company will invent a solution to solve this soon. There’s clearly a demand, LOL!


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    Orange County, CA Real Estate for hip first-time buyers and investors. Plus, fun things to know and do in OC.

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