March, 2017 - As if the Northeast Ohio industrial market was not tight enough, here come the marijuana growers! Last year, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation for a medical marijuana program in Ohio and Governor Kasich signed the bill.
While the licenses have not been meted out, groups are attempting to secure space in anticipation of winning one. There will only be a small number of licenses awarded statewide. Rule proposals were filed in February, with a public hearing scheduled for March 20.
Interestingly, the requirements growers outlined are the opposite of what most industrial users value.
The marijuana growers want approximately 60,000 to 75,000 square feet of space, with heavy amounts of power, low ceilings and air conditioning. Low ceilings keep utility bills down and the lights closer to the product. Facilities, however, cannot be closer than 500 feet to any residential dwelling, school or church.
Right now, the big unknown is location. Most cities will not issue permits for marijuana retailers, but we speculate that older, more-established cities (Elyria, South Euclid and Richmond Heights) will likely agree to their presence. In fact, some of these towns are already moving towards this position.
Opinion leaders on both sides of the medical marijuana business can agree on one thing: their occupation of industrial space will clearly tighten the market even further.