Media Reports Lead Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard to Order Employee Retirement System to Sell Off Shares in Medical Marijuana Real Estate Investment Trust


Tennessee’s state employee retirement system has had its “high” hopes dashed – at least from investing in medical cannabis.

Even though many Republicans oppose legalizing medical marijuana, much less recreational marijuana, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System’s (TCRS) small-stock fund owns 7,009 shares – now worth about $720,000 – in San Diego-based Innovative Industrial Properties Inc., the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. The firm is a real estate investment trust.

TCRS is the “defined benefit plan – providing lifetime retirement, survivor and disability benefits for employees and their beneficiaries,” according to its website, which is run by the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

Innovative Industrial Properties’ website bills itself as “the leading provider of real estate capital for the medical-use cannabis industry.”

The Times Free Press says:

Among the 11 states where the company has facilities is Illinois. Tennessee’s investment in the company went public after a Chicago newspaper reported earlier in July that more than a dozen states pension funds across the country, including Tennessee’s, stood to benefit when Illinois’ new law allowing recreational marijuana goes into effect Jan. 1.

Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard told the Times Free Press he didn’t know about the marijuana investment and he told investment managers to sell the Volunteer State’s shares.

The story the newspaper referenced is available here from the Chicago Sun-Times. It was published July 19.

If Illinois’ newly legalized recreational marijuana industry proves to be as successful as expected, the taxpayers of Tennessee, Texas and Alaska all would benefit.

Each of those state governments has put money into a publicly traded investment firm, San Diego-based Innovative Industrial Properties, that’s aiming to profit when recreational marijuana in Illinois becomes legal Jan. 1.

Marijuana real estate investment is profitable, whatever one thinks about cannabis, The Tennessee Journal: On the Hill reports.

Reporting on Lillard’s order to sell the shares, the publication said:

That’s despite a 26% gain in share price of San Diego-based Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. since the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System’s small-stock fund bought 7,009 shares in April or May.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.






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