BOULDER, Colo. - On Election Day, five states – including California, Arizona, and Nevada will consider legalizing recreational marijuana.
The question is: how will that impact Colorado’s green rush? And could it have an impact on housing prices in Colorado, where rent is up, home prices are up and even cash-flush buyers are up - in part because of legal weed.
“When people start going to California instead of Colorado, I am afraid it's going to have a huge impact on our tourism and the money that comes in here," said Jamie Perino, owner of Elements and Euflora marijuana retail shops in metro Denver. “At our shop on 16th Street, 80 percent of our customers are tourists.”
Real estate experts say it’s still unknown what kind of impact legal marijuana could have on the housing market.
"The big question is: Will we see a downturn here in Colorado because we'll lose out on some of that business,” said Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker Colorado. “And I think it's certainly too early to tell right now."
Mygatt said what is clear is that parking your money in the housing market remains a good investment.
"And it will probably transcend whatever happens Tuesday," Mygatt said.
Perino said the legalization of weed in other states could have the opposite effect; it could help to legitimize the industry here in Colorado.
"I think Colorado can still hold a little bit of an edge on our green rush and green tourism," she said. “I would like to see other states come online just to prove that it is a legitimate industry. Perhaps that would wipe out the black market in a lot of these states.”