Leasing to a Cannabis-Related Business: Banking, Permitting, Zoning, Rent, Indemnification, and Insurance

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Monday, May 18, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide advice on how to best prepare commercial leases for the growing number of property owners seeking to lease to a cannabis-related business as the cannabis industry expands. The panel will discuss common issues that arise, including the structuring of rent, banking restrictions, permits and zoning, and insurance and related risk management.


With marijuana use legalized in a majority of the U.S., commercial property owners are increasingly presented with opportunities to lease to a cannabis-related business. State regulations legalizing hemp and recreational and medical marijuana, as well as conflicting federal laws, require real estate attorneys to consider a variety of complex rules to effectively draft or modify cannabis-related commercial leases.

The unique challenges and opportunities inherent in leasing to cannabis businesses require counsel to re-evaluate standard commercial lease terms and prepare to amend provisions such as rent structuring, licensing, zoning, permitted use of the premises, compliance with laws, inspection rights, law enforcement and personal guarantees.

Listen as our panel discusses federal and state regulatory challenges in leasing to cannabis businesses in light of recent laws legalizing medical and recreational marijuana and hemp/CBD products. The panel will address the practical considerations counsel should present to a commercial property owner looking to lease to a cannabis-related tenant and the necessary alterations to standard leases that will be necessary to ensure security in the relationship moving forward.



  1. Overview of state laws related to leasing to cannabis-related businesses
  2. Standard lease provisions to address
    1. Rent structuring
    2. Licensing
    3. Zoning
    4. Permitted uses
    5. Compliance with laws
    6. Inspection rights
    7. Assignment and subletting
    8. Federal asset forfeiture
    9. Change of laws
  3. Additional concerns
    1. Banking
    2. Insurance coverage
  4. Practical considerations


The panel will review these and other key items:

  • Drafting and updating standard lease terms to reflect cannabis business tenant issues.
  • Developing a comprehensive plan to address specific issues related to cannabis-related businesses
  • Lease terms that accurately reflect state regulations and the federal prohibition of marijuana


McGuinness, Christine
Christine A. McGuinness

Schiff Hardin

Ms. McGuinness represents real estate developers, funds and lenders in all aspects of commercial real estate, as well...  |  Read More

Sampson, Michael
Michael H. Sampson

Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl

Mr. Sampson focuses his insurance coverage practice on assisting policyholders across various industries to address and...  |  Read More

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