Medicinal Cannabis Entrepreneurs as Commercial Tenants: Assessment and Treatment

33 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2011 Last revised: 5 May 2017

See all articles by Michael N. Widener

Michael N. Widener

Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Date Written: March 3, 2011


The potential advantages (cash flow) to medical marijuana businesses and their landlords are apparent, superficially. This essay considers the path of prudent landlord navigation among regulators, creditors, insurers, tenants and neighboring landowners in respect to leasing commercial premises to the medical marijuana entrepreneur, or MME for short. MMEs present unique challenges to industrial, warehouse and other commercial project owners due to a complex web of federal, state and local controls over such operations. The hazards of asset forfeiture and environmental liability are discussed in the essay, together with the impact of the absence of conventional property and casualty insurance options typically safeguarding landlords from certain risks attending MME dispensaries and "grow sites." The essay next analyzes the standard form commercial lease provisions requiring revision to protect the landlord from disastrous consequences accompanying substandard operation by a medical marijuana tenant or wrongful behavior from an invitee of these entrepreneurs.

Keywords: medical marijuana, medicinal cannabis, dispensaries, cultivation, commercial leasing, induatrial leasing, marijuana clinics, cannabis clinics, marijuana businesses, criminal forfeiture

JEL Classification: K11, K14, K23, K42

Suggested Citation

Widener, Michael N., Medicinal Cannabis Entrepreneurs as Commercial Tenants: Assessment and Treatment (March 3, 2011). 46 Real Prop.Trust & Estate L. J., 377 (2011). Available at SSRN:

Michael N. Widener (Contact Author)

Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint ( email )

2325 East Camelback Road
Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85016
United States

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ( email )

Prescott, AZ 86301
United States

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