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Marijuana Dispensaries Paying as Much as 70% More Than Neighbor Tenants

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The Daily News points out that hundreds of closed marijuana dispensaries (under the city's new dispensary ordinance) means hundreds of empty storefronts in an already terrible time for commercial real estate. Who knew? Pot shops are especially lucrative for landlords, according to the article, which says that in the Valley they have 30 to 40 percent higher rate of returns than other businesses, "with some clinics paying up to 70 percent higher rents than their neighbors." Valley stores have an average rate of return of $1.35 to $1.65, but dispensaries pay about $2.50 per square foot, according to an analysis by the Real Estate Investment Associates of Encino. A broker for the company estimates the closures have come "at a loss of almost $20 million to the economy." Meanwhile, pot shop owners and advocates held a low-key protest at city hall yesterday--the LA Times reported that the event's only speaker stood "on a planter next to placards that went unused and donuts that went uneaten." [Now former West Third dispensary via Blackburn + Sweetzer]
· Leases go to pot as L.A. closes Valley medical-marijuana collectives [LADN]