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Will pot shops affect property values in your neighbourhood? They did in Colorado

By Murtaza Haider and Stephen Moranis for The Haider-Moranis Bulletin

The Haider-Moranis Bulletin: They could here too, once marijuana is legalized this year — but not the way you think

As Canada moves closer to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, many are speculating on how the decision will affect society and the economy. While some are concerned about health and safety effects, others are optimistic about potential new tax revenues and the prospect of bringing the sale and distribution of marijuana out of the criminal sphere.

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One area that few are talking about, however, is how legal marijuana will affect residential property markets.

While retail rents are likely to benefit first, housing prices may also get a boost, if the experiences in other jurisdictions that have legalized marijuana are repeated.

Writing in the prestigious journal Real Estate Economics, James Conklin and coauthors studied how the conversion of medical marijuana stores to recreational marijuana stores affected housing prices in Denver, Colo., where the recreational sale of marijuana was legalized in January 2014.

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