How States with Legalized Marijuana Have Higher Home Prices. Is North Carolina Next?

Looks like people isn’t the only thing weed has taken to new heights. A recent study shows how states with legalized marijuana are seeing a rise in home prices. Not only is the plant causing people to relocate to the states where it’s legal but it has also given the local economy a boost. Is North Carolina the next great state to follow?

In eight states, Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Washington, and our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. all have the legalized sale and possession of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. And judging from the rise in home prices, the boost to the local economy, and lifestyle many residents say that it has been a good law to pass.

“Although marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug that is illegal under federal law, state legalization opens the door to new, above-board industries, adding jobs and tax revenue, while toking tourists in the communities where it will be sold.”

And yes, the legalization of recreational marijuana has already made a big impact on home buyers and homeowners as prices have already risen in four states where it’s legal.

Marijuana Chart

“The prosepects of employment-as well as the desire to legally grow, buy, enjoy, and otherwise self-medicate with weed-have led to an increased demand for housing. Simply put, more people seem to move to states with legalized marijuana, boosting home prices.”

Cheng Cheng, a professor of economics at the University of Mississippi, is one of the authors of a study on how legalizing retail marijuana has lifted home prices in the state of Colorado. Cheng states, areas where it’s legal “are going to attract more home buyers, including marijuana users as well as entrepreneurs and job seekers.”

Home prices tend to be higher in about 60 cities and towns in Colorado where weed is legal than the more than 200 where it’s not. The median sold price was $302,500 in the second quarter of 2016 which is 13% higher than in the areas where it isn’t legal which came in at $267,200 according to the analysis.

“In addition, homes have been appreciating by 12% annually since 2014 where it’s legal. That’s compared with just 9% in areas where it’s illegal.” (In the state of Colorado)

But will the legalization of marijuana also find its path to the State of North Carolina where the housing and job markets in areas such as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, and Greensboro have been seeing steady increases over the past several years? Many legislators around the state are against the idea of legalizing the drug for medical and/or recreational use. As some believe it could lead to mass addiction. But for some smaller towns and cities around the state could they actually benefit economically from such a law being passed?

“State lawmakers have filed a bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use in North Carolina – a perennial proposal that has failed to gain traction in the past.” If the bill is made to be put forth to voters in November it could very well lead to a legalization of marijuana for medical use which would be the first step to it eventually becoming legalized period.

If marijuana becomes legalized in the State of North Carolina is it possible homes in cities such as Durham, who already has an annual appreciation of around 9%, would spike to 12-13%? Could it open the door up to more job growth and increase in earning potential for North Carolinian’s? Or, will it cause housing, the economy, and our way living to plummet? Only time will tell.


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