Tucson property owners looking to medical marijuana in sluggish market

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson's commercial real estate market definitely felt the effects of the bad economy.

"For Lease" signs across the city show the need for tennants.

A couple dozen Tucson property owners and managers met over lunch Tuesday to talk about the potential profit of pot.

They stand to make big bucks once the legal wrangling ends over the new state law.

"We will be the landlords for these dispensaries, we wanted to educate our group as to the guidelines about leasing to medical marijuana dispensaries," said Gay Jarvis from BOMA Greater Tucson.

The representatives of the leasing firms and other business were all ears.

"I thought it was very informative.  There was a lot more to the medical marijuana initiative and how it affects property owners and the population at large much more so than I realized at first glance," said Melissa Mullin of the Abracadabra Restoration Inc.

One of the big issues is the zoning.

Pima County may have some of the state's toughest regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

"Well, Pima County has its own jurisdiction, I think so its probably more complicated then working with some of the municipal governments that we have locally," said Gay Jarvis from BOMA Greater Tucson.

If landlords can break through all the red tape, they may be able to take down those "Space Available" signs and start earning some revenue.

"This is a great benefit to the landlords especially if we can get the rents up like Scott was saying $20 a square foot because no one is getting that kind of rate these days,"

Right now the average rate for commercial space is about 15 or 16 dollars a square foot.

But with a lawsuit in place against medical marijuana, property owners could be waiting until October to get a tennant.

"I think if your a landlord and your liking the idea of having a tenet that's paying rent it's bad news because they have already waited and were expecting for this to be done by June or this month,"