A few years ago, Steve Arnold, who owns two marinas outside of Portland, had his pick of heated warehouses to lease, where he could store clients’ boats in the winter.
But then medical marijuana growers came knocking. One moved into the 120,000-square-foot facility where he was storing close to 200 boats.
That’s when he learned just how deeply the odor of high-quality pot can work its way into a boat’s upholstery.
“On the pontoon boats and some of the fiberglass boats, not a big deal,” Arnold said. “But some of the bigger boats, the cruisers 28 feet and above, there was a very strong smell.”
That created some extra boat-cleaning work, but it also signaled more substantial changes to come. Arnold said his landlord continued to put a squeeze on the square footage available for boats.
“One year he came to me and said, ‘Hey, I want the back area, I’m going to sublease it to marijuana growers,’ ” he recalled. “And I was like, ‘All right.’