With a number of states having already legalised medicinal marijuana, the demand for cannabis continues to be on the rise. With an increase in demand for the product comes an increase in the need for production facilities, including indoor marijuana cultivation space. Real estate investors have jumped on this market; however, while the resulting real estate boom is undoubtedly a positive for the real estate industry, it does not come without legal and operational risks.
The Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint that an amendment to Rockville's 'light industrial' municipal zoning ordinance was unconstitutional as it violated the due process and equal protection guarantees of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The ordinance made it impossible for Siena Corporation to build on its property a large self-storage facility within 250 feet of a public school.
In an unusual case, the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed the district court's decision that recently enacted Wyoming laws impose civil and criminal liability on any persons who "cross private land to access adjacent or proximate land where he [or she] collects resource data". The court concluded that the statutes regulate protected speech under the First Amendment and are not shielded from constitutional scrutiny merely because they touch on access to private property.
Balancing the interests of the federal government as owner of thousands of acres surrounding Crooked Lake and the rights of private owners, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that the US Forest Service exceeded its authority when issuing rules restricting recreational use of the lake. According to the court, relevant Michigan law grants owners of property surrounding the lake the right to reasonable use of the lake.