On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the “Marihuana[1] Regulation and Taxation Act” (MRTA), which legalizes recreational marijuana use in New York State. Cannabis businesses could begin to open as soon as next year, as the new Office of Cannabis Management issues licenses and promulgates rules.

Of course, most or all of these new businesses will need to lease commercial space in order to operate—and undoubtedly, many real estate owners are eager to meet this new demand, especially in light of the toll the COVID pandemic and the shift to online shopping have taken on bricks-and-mortar retail assets. However, owners and prospective cannabis businesses have many legal issues and questions to consider before entering into lease agreements.