What’s That Smell? Landlords and the Problems They Face With Medical Marijuana

The growth and use of medical marijuana are legal in certain areas around the USA, which gives patients of certain ailments a better chance of dealing and treating their illness without having to go through the black market. While it’s a cause for celebration for patients, it does give landlords something to worry.

Some states like Massachusetts authorized the use, growth, and distribution of medical marijuana found in any form of “enclosed, locked facility,” and these include a “room” or a “closet” which can include apartments and commercial establishments.

Conflicting Laws

 With the legalization of medicinal marijuana in some US states, some state laws now conflict with federal laws. Federal law outlaws the use, growth, and distribution of any Schedule 1 controlled substance, which includes marijuana in any form. As a result, landlords whose apartments and commercial establishments used to grow and distribute the drug might still have their properties seized under federal law. Some states can even have landlords go to prison, have rents forfeited because it was ruled to be used as drug money, and have other enormous fines placed upon them just for having medical marijuana in their properties. The legalization of medical marijuana exposes landlords to these horrifying risks.

Discrimination Between Laws

Since state and federal laws prohibit any discrimination against individuals with disabilities, such as patients who require the use of medical marijuana, landlords are now conflicted to ask prospect tenants about the medical marijuana as they have no right to refuse rent or evict them. As such, landlords have no choice but to accept patients while taking the all the risks of civil asset forfeiture, crime, and property damage among many other problems. Many landlords now cry out for them to have a choice in the matter.

Risks Involved

As mentioned in a previous segment of this post, there are numerous risks involved for landlords accepting tenants who use medical marijuana. For instance, landlords are liable for property damage as there might be fires wherein electrical lines that might serve as extensive artificial lighting are “hot wired” just to avoid detection of use and growth of the drug. There’s also the costly-to-remedy mold wherein the constant humidity of the growth operation is taken into account. Damage from water and humidity to the property is also apparent as paint can peel, floors can buckle, and other forms of damage will take place due to medicinal marijuana use.

Dispensary eviction might be the best course of action for landlords, but there needs to be a just cause for the notice to take place. Expert real estate lawyers can know their way around this law to help property-owners properly deal with the situation without the need for the forfeiture of the property.