A cannabis landlord is this year’s best-performing REIT

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The country’s best-performing real estate investment trust specializes in an unusual type of tenant: marijuana farms.

Innovative Industrial Properties, which owns warehouses where farmers grow cannabis, netted investors a profit of 117 percent over the past year, Bloomberg reported. That makes it by far the most successful REIT at a time when many big-name trusts are struggling.

But the returns come with a major risk: it is technically breaking federal laws. Although all the states that the REIT owns real estate in have legalized the sale of marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law.

“There’s a lot of institutional investors, when looking at their risk criteria, that are still hesitant to invest even though we’re on the New York Stock Exchange,” the company’s chief financial officer Catherine Hastings told Bloomberg.

The REIT is so profitable because most landlords shy away from leasing space to cannabis companies, meaning it has little competition and can charge higher rents.

On Tuesday, voters in Michigan voted to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana. Innovative Industrial is developing a property in the state. [Bloomberg] — Konrad Putzier

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