The Truth About Investing in Cannabis Commercial Real Estate in Florida

Investing in commercial real estate leased to cannabis dispensaries can be an exciting investment option that many real estate investors have been overlooking. Despite the pitfalls faced in the early years during the legalization of cannabis in Florida, the industry is flourishing. According to the Leafly Jobs 2021 report, Florida is the 3rd largest cannabis seller in the U.S., leading job creation with a total of more than 31,000, equating to $1.2 billion in sales. 

“It’s a billion-dollar industry now,” Barry Wolfe says (pictured), Senior Managing Director based in Marcus & Millichap’s Fort Lauderdale office. “Medical marijuana dispensaries are professional, high-end establishments, with marketing tantamount to an Apple store. They are legit, publicly traded companies [mostly on the Canadian stock exchange], and it’s a great market to be in right now.” 

After having a successful practice as a commercial real estate attorney, Wolfe joined the Marcus & Millichap firm in 2001. In that time frame, he and Alan Lipsky, Senior Vice President Investments, have closed on the sale of over 665 individual properties across 41 states with a volume exceeding $1.95 billion.  

In the last 14 months, Wolfe and Lipsky have exclusively brought to market and closed deals on 14 cannabis dispensaries in four different states, including the major industry-leading companies Trulieve Cannabis Corp., Curaleaf, Sunnyside, and Surterra Wellness. They are also currently marketing multiple dispensaries with several others under contract and letter of intent. 

Now that a new study has found that compounds in cannabis can prevent the virus that causes Covid-19 from entering cells and causing infection, the interest has increased sales and further establishes medical dispensaries as essential industries. What are the significant differentiators and hurdles faced by investors in the market? 

If you are considering the move into cannabis commercial real estate, here are a few strategies to consider:  

  • Avoid financing challenges by favoring all-cash buyers 


Perhaps the most difficult part of closing a cannabis dispensary deal is banking challenges. Cannabis is not federally legal in the United States and generally requires all cash or low leverage buyers. The buyer pool is deep and is favorable to 1031 exchangers.  

  • Understand zoning types for properties coming to market 


Municipalities typically have strict zoning rules, and it is important to be aware of local land use and regulations, as cannabis dispensaries can only be permitted in certain locations.  

  • Identify location, quality areas, traffic count and strong tenants 


As with any real estate venture – tenant quality is always important. Accessibility, proximity to roadways, visibility, and future developments in the area are all critical factors as they are with most any retail real estate investment. 

  • Get the best deal by working with an expert 


The cannabis dispensary market is a unique and expanding subsector of real estate investing. For this reason, it is important to work with an expert who is well-versed in the market and can assist in evaluating the best strategy for you. If you are interested in learning more about investing in cannabis real estate, contact the market leaders—Barry Wolfe and Alan Lipsky.

Check out the Wolfe-Lipsky Group’s Current Exclusive Inventory

You May Also Like

Miami Gardens Office Building Sells for Nearly $17 Million

Marcus & Millichap recently completed the sale of Commons Plaza at 5901 Miami Gardens Drive in Miami. The newly renovated, 56,601-square-foot, three-story office building sold for $16.8 million, equivalent to $297.34

South Florida’s National Real Estate Appeal

By Issenberg Britti Group Florida has seen tremendous growth and an increase in new developments throughout the state. Overseas investors have decreased due to pandemic restrictions, while domestic U.S. investors

Marcus & Millichap Brokers Sale of Retail Center in Midtown Miami

Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI) helped negotiate the sale of the 17-suite Midtown Miami retail portfolio for $23 million or $922.77 per square foot. Alex Zylberglait, CCIM, Alejandro D’Alba and Scott

Marcus & Millichap Brokers Sale of Biscayne Boulevard Development Site for $46.7 Million

Marcus & Millichap (NYSE: MMI) helped finalize the sale of 3333 Biscayne Boulevard, a 2.91-acre development site located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Miami. The 2.80-acre site is located on an

Other Posts

Thomas-Duncan Team Outlook on the 2022 Multifamily Rent Growth

South Florida’s market is bustling with out-of-state and international investors looking to capitalize on the state’s multifamily real estate – population growth coupled with fewer restrictions, regulations, and remote work

Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.