What happened

Shares of Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR) jumped 18.4% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the real estate investment trust (REIT) expanded its property portfolio and boosted its dividend. 

So what 

IIP entered July with momentum. The REIT raised its quarterly cash payout to investors in mid-June by 6% sequentially -- and 77% year over year -- to $1.06 per share. That made its yield, which was already sizable in today's low interest rate environment, even more attractive to income investors. That remains true today: even after its recent gains, IIP's stock yields a solid 3.7%.

Rolls of dollar bills rising in a stair-step manner.

Innovative Industrial Properties' share price rose sharply in July. Image source: Getty Images.

IIP's ascent continued into early July after it acquired a 118,000 square foot cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Massachusetts for roughly $7.8 million on July 1. IIP leased the property to Cresco Labs, one of the largest multi-state cannabis operators in the U.S. 

IIP's gains accelerated in mid-July after it acquired a property in New Jersey for $5.5 million on July 14. The 111,000 square foot cannabis cultivation and processing site was leased to Curaleaf Holdings, another leading multi-state cannabis company. 

Now what

As a REIT, IIP is designed to acquire income-generating properties, so it can pass that cash on to its shareholders. IIP excels in this regard. It's increased its dividend a staggering 607% since its initial cash payout in 2017. Better still, as a key real estate partner for the rapidly expanding cannabis market, IIP should be able to continue to grow its dividend for many years to come.