Sumary of Your shopping mall's latest tenant? A pot dispensary:
- Shopping center owners left with empty storefronts after the pandemic-induced retail exodus are finding unlikely customers to fill the gaping holes in their malls: pot dispensaries.
- “It’s not 22-year-olds buying a blunt and sitting stoned on the curb,” said Bill Schrader, owner of the Alamo, Texas-based retail real estate company Austin Group.
- ”Now, where an empty Sprint store once stood at the Union Landing shopping center in Union City, California, frosted glass windows conceal a sophisticated marble-tiled airy shop, the city’s first cannabis shopping center store, run by the Salinas, California-based chain retailer Grupo Flor.
- But since states started legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes and CBD became federally legalized in 2018, weed has crept into retail’s mainstream.
- Seventh Sense, a CBD skin care company, has stores in malls nationwide owned by Simon Property Group, the country’s biggest mall owner.
- As other states move toward legalizing marijuana and federal lawmakers consider a bill to decriminalize weed, pot in retail is poised to become a mainstay, said Stephanie Cegielski, vice president of research with the International Council of Shopping Centers, a trade organization.
- ”That’s good news for the brick-and-mortar retail industry, which has been hammered by consumers shifting much of their spending to online stores, and a rising preference for services over goods.
- In the last few years, Union Landing lost a handful of anchor stores like Party City and Sports Authority after they went bankrupt or drastically downsized their real estate footprints.