How to house a pot-grow operation | Just Ask Jan

We want to start growing marijuana to sell for medicinal purposes.

Dear Jan:

This question is out of the ordinary, but I am sure you will agree it is the sign of the times. We want to start growing marijuana to sell for medicinal purposes. How do we go about finding a piece of land or building to house our product in the Kingston area, either for sale or for lease?  — KSE

Dear KSE: Although unusual, you are not the first to approach me on this subject.

Because Kingston is not a city, you need to follow the zoning guidelines for Kitsap County. I believe the zoning needs to be Industrial for this type of business, but please verify this with the county. On the north end of Kitsap County, we have very few pieces of land that actually have this zoning.

Once you find the correct zoning, there are other challenges. It may be difficult to find someone who will lease their building for this type of product. Not because they disapprove the product, but because their insurance companies won’t cover their building for this type of product.

I know of one party who was told their insurance company would have to start at ground zero in creating a policy for this type of coverage, because it had not been done previously, and they were going to have to bring in managers and attorneys. Therefore, their best advice was to not lease their building out for this purpose as time and costs would not be worth it.

Please contact a local real estate broker to help you find the land or building you need. Make sure you have a feasibility study clause written into the contract so that you can make sure that you have time to study items like fire protection, theft and insurance. This is a normal practice in Commercial and Industrial contracts.

Thanks for your email.

— Jan Zufelt is an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Kingston.