#AMA | Marijuana Legalization and Your Rental

Marijuana Legalization and Your Rental media

#AskMarcAnything | Recreational use of marijuana is becoming legalized by many states. If you are a Landlord or Tenant, your lease agreement or the city you live in may determine your ability to use marijuana for recreational or medicinal use. The initiatives recently passed in California allow for many things but still allows a Landlord to restrict usage. On this episode, I break down how legal marijuana affects your rental property.

California Marijuana Legalization

What does the initiative allow?

On November 8, 2016 the voters passed California’s Prop 64, “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act” which legalized recreational use of marijuana.

This legalizes the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years or older. Smoking and other uses are permitted in a private home or at a business licensed for on-site marijuana consumption.

An individual is permitted to grow up to six plants within a private home, as long as the area is locked and not visible from a public place.

No Smoking Policy and Federal Law

Smoking is still prohibited in any place where tobacco smoking is prohibited by law. Prohibited in any public place and cannot possess on school grounds, youth centers or day care centers when children are present

If there is a local ordinance that prohibits tobacco smoking smoking on residential property, such as Richmond’s no smoking in a multi-unit building ordinance, then smoking of marijuana is also prohibited.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law. While marijuana enforcement was not a priority under the Obama administration if you complied with state and local law, the Trump administration may make it a priority.

The initiative expressly allows owners of rental property to prohibit any of the actions related to marijuana. Make sure to have a No Smoking clause in your lease agreements or have an addendum that includes all substances including tobacco and marijuana.

What is a Landlord wants to allow recreational use or cultivation

If you want to allow recreational use or cultivation, that is your choice. However consult with an attorney to develop policies to protect your investment or the quiet enjoyment of your other tenants if it is within a multi-unit building.

What if a tenant is disabled and wants to use marijuana as a reasonable accommodation for a disability? Medicinal use.

Disclosure: If you get a request like this, contact an experienced attorney to determine an appropriate and timely response.

Initiatives are not clear on this issue but there are two court cases that suggest that an accommodation that requires an owner to allow a violation of federal law, is not reasonable.

Same would apply to a tenant receiving Section 8 Housing Assistance because the funds are tied to HUD.