Not buying the idea that pot shops will increase property values

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
January 24, 2018 - 4:52am Updated: January 24, 2018 - 11:44am

KAMLOOPS — The latest bit of hallucinogenic malarkey coming out of the marijuana debate is that pot stores have the potential to raise property values in nearby neighbourhoods.

You heard that right. An American study has found that property values in Denver, Colorado near shops that converted from medical to recreational cannabis sales increased nearby property values by 8.4 per cent more than in places where the stores are farther away.

The real estate market there is booming.

Therefore, it’s obvious — forget zoning bylaws, business licenses, and worries about policing. Let them go wherever they want.

Of course, we’re still not absolutely sure where recreational pot will be sold in B.C., but the message is clear that a pot store on every corner — just like Starbucks and Tim’s — would be a good thing for everybody. How about several on Victoria Street? Seymour and Lansdowne could use a boost, too.

The rationale for the conclusions of the study are that marijuana stores will drive more traffic to whatever block they’re in, which would drive up property values there and spill into residential neighborhoods.

Which in turn, will make more people want to live there.

So, I guess all those people worrying about the impact of legal marijuana should relax. Instead, local realtors could soon be promoting properties based on being close to marijuana sales outlets.

This isn’t the first time a boom in housing prices has been predicted as marijuana is legalized for recreational purposes in more and more places. Marijuana advocates have been using the claim for years that legalized sales will attract more home buyers.

Sorry, I’m not buying it. Legalized marijuana may indeed be a real estate bonanza for certain kinds of properties, but the idea that a pot store in every neighbourhood is going to crank up real estate prices… makes you wonder if the eggheads who did the study were eating too many Doritos.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.