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Commercial real estate: Legal cannabis poses retail positives

The legalization of marijuana could mean a boom for real estate. Akin to the gold rush of days of yore, this green rush could really have an impact on commercial real estate transactions in Canada. Investors have been scrambling to get their feet in on the ground level and to sell cannabis legally, particularly in Alberta where the province has decided to allow marijuana to be sold in private retail outlets -- not to mention the space it takes to grow -- so commercial space is becoming a hot commodity.

Alberta is primed to see increased demand over the next few months for real estate transactions related to the legal growing and sale of cannabis. The province has given the go-ahead to private operators who have been licensed to sell cannabis. This opens up the possibility of possible joint ventures. For instance, the coffee chain Second Cup plans to convert some of its coffee shops into dispensaries for cannabis. 

In the same fashion, the country's biggest privately owned and operated liquor store, Alcanna Inc., has leased many commercial spaces in Wild Rose Country with the plan of turning them into marijuana retail spaces. Employees who fashion high-end coffee concoctions are known as baristas. Those who serve up marijuana strains in these retail stores will be called cannistas.

The laws that govern commercial real estate transactions in Canada are always evolving. Investors or entrepreneurs who want to keep abreast of the latest laws that could affect their businesses and business dealings might want to look to a lawyer for advice. It is incumbent upon a real estate lawyer to keep up with the latest laws and how they may affect his or her clients.

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