The real estate problems with weed

pot

Real estate and weed

I was reading in the news this morning about a guy who was charged for driving under the influence of cannabis and it got me to thinking about how legal weed might impact our real estate market. 

It is now legal to grow up to four houseplants per household. That is a true fact. 

Here is another true fact. If a home was ever used as a grow-op that must be disclosed when selling. I’m not saying that four plants is a grow-op. The image of grow-ops is a basement of hydroponics and hanging lights. I’m sure most people will grow their four plants and happily cultivate their little Farmville. But what’s two more plants if you have the space and equipment, or four more? And what exactly is a household? We are not a household. We’re just roommates. 

We tell stories to ourselves. And justify. We see the world we want to see. Bending the rules is ok if no one gets hurt. I can see legal weed as a gateway to a gardening craze. I can see legal weed leading to a small proliferation of small scale grow-ops.

The problem with grow-ops

The problem with cultivating more and more plants is humidity. The humidity of grow-ops often leads to serious problems with mould behind the walls and in the floors. Mould can cause health problems. Mould in houses is hard to detect and expensive to remove. 

Furthermore, from the standpoint of humidity and potential mould, growing four plants in a 2400 square foot home is very different that growing four plants in a 600 square foot condo unit.  

The problem with weed

Although it is now legal, in the minds of many people weed is still stigmatized. Ideas don’t change overnight. Many people would think twice before buying a home that is cultivating even a small amount of legal weed. We know that smoking decreases the value of homes (by up to 30%), so I’m certain that pot smoking in a home will have the same result. 

Avoiding the thorny issues of weed

I don’t know if I like weed or not but I know that I don’t like gardening. I don’t think I’m alone in this thought. It may be relaxing but I have better things to do with my time. So with so much uncertainty around weed I would advise home sellers to try growing it out in the yard or better yet just buy it from wherever it is that you can buy it legally now. 

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