Friday, August 15, 2014

How Changing Marijuana Regulations Could Affect the Self Storage Industry

The recent developments in marijuana laws in the United States have affected businesses in multiple industries in the United States. For instance, banks have been trying to figure out a way to provide banking options for legal marijuana dispensaries. Since the drug is still illegal on a federal level, if banks could be at risk if they accept money from these dispensaries. Even President Obama has stepped in to offer protection to banks who deal with legal marijuana businesses. 20 states have legalized the use of the drug for medical purposes and Washington and Colorado’s stance on recreational use is influencing legislation in other states as well.

What does this all mean for the self storage industry? Well, for one, facility owners might see an increase in the storing of the drug. We have already cited several instances where illegal drug operations have been uncovered in self storage units. It is up for debate whether or not a self storage unit will be the right place to How self storage business owners will choose to interact with legal marijuana growers will be up to them but it is still wise to stay informed.

Since a controlled environment is absolutely necessary for growing marijuana, it is likely that self storage owners might see an increase in renters who want to use a climate controlled unit for this purpose. However, even in a climate controlled environment, it is still possible for marijuana to spoil and be affected by mold and fungi. Since the successful production requires two rooms, some may even predict that there will be increased rate of reservations in the self storage industry. However, not everyone is that optimistic that self storage units will facilitate the legal marijuana industry. Since very strict regulations exist in terms of tracking the plant from seed to buds, Andy Betts general manager of Denver Relief Consulting, believes that the storage challenges will add to the regulatory issues.

The idea of growing marijuana in self storage units isn’t exactly a new one. In 2012, A1 Heat and Storage in Sedro-Woolley, WA began experimenting with allowing the growth of marijuana at its facility. The owner even applied for permits in order to add medical marijuana growing rooms, which caused community members to voice concerns about traffic and safety problems. In January 2014, the city council Sedro-Valley reported that it would be considering adding some medical marijuana businesses in residential zones, which is good news for those in the area that

Self storage operators in both Colorado and Washington are paying close attention to the changing regulations in order to be on the right side of the law. Self storage owners and operators all over the country are encouraged to do the same. Since marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, growing it in self storage units may violate the mortgage agreement. There are also insurance issues since most providers will decline to provide coverage in these situations. The future of marijuana in the self storage may be uncertain but staying well-versed on the changing regulations if of utmost importance to those operating a business in the industry.


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