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This article explores the Implications of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana for commercial real estate.
On April 17th, Pennsylvania joined 23 other states and the District of Columbia that have legalized some form of medicinal or recreational use of marijuana. Under the new law, specially-licensed physicians will be able to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who have qualifying medical conditions. Of significance to the commercial real estate industry, the product must be be grown, manufactured, and dispensed through highly regulated physical locations within Pennsylvania. The law raises many new and unique issues for those who plan to own or use property related to the marijuana industry.
Pennsylvania’s legalization permits use for medicinal purposes only. The patient must be under the ongoing care of a physician, and prescribing physicians must obtain a special license after completing a course. Patients and/or caregivers will also need an identification card from the state. Unlike some states where prescriptions are issued to walk-in patients on-site, in Pennsylvania the dispensary must be in a different office from the prescribing physician.
The law divides industry participants into two categories: 1) grower/processors; and 2) dispensaries. There will be up to 25 grower/processor licenses, and up to 50 dispensary licenses. Each dispensary licensee may operate up to three (3) dispensing locations, for a potential total of 150 dispensary sites throughout the state. There will be a thorough licensing process with significant financial qualifications and fees for application. The licensing and regulatory process will be overseen by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which is expected to issue its initial regulations in November, 2016.
One major difference between Pennsylvania and many states is that leaf or bud marijuana will be prohibited, as will smoking or retail sales of edibles. The only types of medical marijuana initially permitted will be pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid, and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization. Access to dry leaf marijuana will not be considered until at least May, 2018.
From a facilities perspective, the law requires that all growing and manufacturing activities take place at an indoor facility. On the retail end, dispensaries may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day care. Each type of use is also subject to local zoning requirements, and the land use classification of marijuana facilities is one which may generate confusion at the municipal level. Dispensaries also face the hurdle of community acceptance, although the prohibition on dry leaf sales and smoking could make that process somewhat easier.
The manufacture and sale of medical marijuana presents additional legal and practical issues for tenants and landlords. Much of that complication arises from the fact that the legality of the industry is treated differently under state and federal law. Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, financial transactions cannot be processed through credit cards or the banking system. As a result, the medical marijuana industry is largely a cash business and security concerns are paramount in storing and transporting what are often huge sums of cash. Physical space must account for these concerns, as well as the security of the product itself. Also, landlords can likely expect to be paid in cash or money order.
Existing contractual provisions and insurance considerations are also a concern. In a multi-tenant property, having a marijuana-related use may violate conditions in other leases. Commercial loans generally prohibit a marijuana use, so a large majority of commercial space may be unavailable to the industry. When there is a marijuana-related use, insurance costs will generally be higher. Finally, while federal prosecutions of state-authorized marijuana businesses are extremely rare, forfeiture laws still place landlords at technical risk. Not surprisingly, industry rents per square foot are significantly higher than market rate – in some cases up to two or three times higher.
One final unknown is the likely demand for medical marijuana space. Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since 2010, but distribution is still limited to five dispensing locations statewide. By contrast, more than one-third of all industrial space in Denver (where recreational use is also permitted) was occupied by marijuana industry growers between 2009 and 2014.
State legalization of marijuana is a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, and even the growing call for changes to federal law will not eliminate the need to exercise additional care. Anyone entering the industry needs to be aware of the many hurdles, costs, and opportunities presented to owners and tenants of real estate used for medical marijuana manufacture and distribution.
For more information about Philly or New Jersey office space, Philly or South Jersey retail space or other Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial properties, please call 215-799-6900 or 856-857-6300 to speak with Jason Wolf (email@example.com) Leor Hemo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lee Fein (email@example.com) at Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a leading Philadelphia commercial real estate brokerage firm with expertise in Philly office space and Philly retail space.
Wolf Commercial Real Estate is a Philadelphia commercial real estate broker that provides a full range of Philadelphia commercial real estate listings and services, marketing commercial offices, medical properties, industrial properties, land properties, retail buildings and other Philadelphia commercial properties for buyers, tenants, investors and sellers.
Wolf Commercial Real Estate, a Philadelphia and South Jersey commercial real estate broker that specializes in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial real estate listings, provides unparalleled expertise in matching companies and individuals seeking new Philly and New Jersey office space or Philly and South Jersey retail space with the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial properties that best meets their needs.
As experts in Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial real estate listings and services, the team at our Philadelphia and South Jersey commercial real estate brokerage firm provides ongoing detailed information about Philadelphia and New Jersey commercial properties to our clients and prospects to help them achieve their real estate goals.
If you are looking for Philly or New Jersey office space or Philly or South Jersey retail space for sale or lease, Wolf Commercial Real Estate is the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey commercial real estate broker you need — a strategic partner who is fully invested in your long-term growth and success.
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“Killing you” might sound a little dramatic, but science proves that sitting at work for extended periods of time is detrimental to your health. According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic, 50 to 70% of people spend 6 hours or more sitting at work daily.
20 to 35% spend another 4 hours or more hours sitting watching T.V. The Mayo Clinic concluded that if people would just cut the amount of time they sitting at work, in the car and at home by 50%, they could increase their life by 2 years. That’s pretty significant. Who wants to die 2 years earlier than necessary?
You might feel that you are alleviating the risks by running, going to the gym or generally exercising as much as you can outside work hours. The American Cancer society says that’s not the case. They did a study that showed that it’s not how much exercise you do, it’s how much time you spend sitting that kills you!
The British Journal of Sports Medicine and Diabetologia, a journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, did studies showing that even if you’re relatively active, you’re still at risk regardless if you’re going to the gym every day, doing plenty of cardio and aerobic exercise. The fact is that sitting for extended periods as is often required of those who hold a desk job, is just as dangerous for an active person as it is for the proverbial couch potato.
The scientific research discovered that after an hour or more of sitting, your body functions change
Enzymes involved in fat burning are reduced by up to 90%. Your metabolism slows and your HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol) is also reduced. The end result is that you’re not only going to be putting on weight, but you’re now also at a higher risk for Type 2 Diabetes – 112% elevated risk – and an increased risk of 147% for heart disease. (Now you know why it’s so hard to shed those extra pounds as you age!)
The furniture experts at COFCO are interested in what we can do to mitigate the effects of constantly sitting at work.
You may have seen a flurry of articles about the new Sit-Stand, or Adjustable Height Desks which allow us to work either sitting or standing. This is great news and something that wasn’t available until fairly recently. Office furniture has evolved and continues to do so as designers begin to create systems built around humans rather than forcing humans to operate within the restrictions of the traditional desk/chair scenario.
The Adjustable Height desk concept was developed so that people could quickly and easily switch between sitting and standing while at work. Sit-Stand desks allow you to sit when you want and stand when you want. The height of the work surface is adjusted either manually, electrically, or with gas assistance. It takes just a few seconds. As an additional benefit, these desks can often be used from both sides, allowing you to move your position within the office as you wish, or even to collaborate with someone else at the same desk.
Until recently, it was mainly employees with back pain who asked for alternatives to traditional office chairs or who preferred to stand rather than sit while working, but we’re all becoming more health conscious and most of us are striving to exercise more consistently for our health’s sake.
Now that there’s so much research and publicity about the dangers of the dangers of sitting, employees are beginning to demand more attention be paid to wellness when designing offices and choosing office furniture. The good news is that manufacturers are responding this demand and creating practical, affordable, ergonomically designed office systems that promote wellness at work.
Want more information on these Sit-to-Stand table and desk options? We’ll be more than happy to show you the various options available and discuss how you can enjoy a healthier work day.