potential tenant is a medical marijuana patient (California)

12 Replies

In itself, that's fine; it's legal here in California. But I'm wondering if there are grey areas I should know about? In particular, the house I'm advertising is right across the street from a high school. Know of any issues there?

Thanks for any insights you can offer! I see "related forum discussions" above, and I'll check them out now.

Medical Marijuana cards are easy to get. Ever had body pain? You can qualify by going to the right kind of "practitioner" who will vouch for your need. In our state both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are legal. We have a no-smoking policy and can enforce it, whether or not the tenant is using marijuana for medical reasons or recreational reasons. Heck, it doesn't matter to us if it is tobacco, marijuana or moss off the trees... it can't be smoked on the premises, inside or out. Those who actually need the therapeutic benefits of the chemicals in marijuana can ingest the product in another form. Also, beware of grow operations... if your rental agreement doesn't address smoking and growing, consider making a revision.

@Marcia Maynard  is spot on, as usual. In California, you would be very hard pressed to find a judge that would allow you to enforce a "no marijuana/no drug" clause in your lease for pot (though I've seen it happen, once). The things you should definitely include, and be aware of, are smoking and growing, which you can definitely include in your lease and enforce. Obviously, smoking indoors is tough to hide with its residual effects, but with growing you should take special note of covered windows, excessive electricity use, lots of traffic to/from the unit, lots of warmth rising off the unit (if you're in a colder area where you can notice), etc. 

The legal grey areas come up with when actual medicinal users in California have a large amount of marijuana with them (sometimes a year's worth just after harvest), are growing it, or are suspected of trafficking in it. Good policies on limiting visitors, nixing growing, and nixing smoking should eliminate the last 2, and if the first one crops up, its much less likely to happen at your unit because of your policies. 

Aaaand now seeing that you're in Santa Rosa, I can vouch that, provided your tenant isn't doing anything outlandish and abiding by your lease, being by the HS shouldn't be an issue. It just makes it more important that they do abide by those terms, as it would be an area of greater scrutiny from the community (parents, kids, etc.).

Thank you so much, Marcia and Bradley! (I forgot how to tag someone--please remind me?) I do have a "no smoking" clause in my lease, but not a "no growing" clause. Can someone please recommend language for that? And maybe it's a good idea to mention other drug operations? Thanks!

I wonder how and whether those "no drug zones" (that are supposed to exist near schools) would permit this ...

@Carol Venolia  I'm unclear on whether you would like to be able to deny them due to the mmj.  I recently read this article regarding mmj and landlords in CA, which basically says you have every right to reject them and that the courts have generally sided with landlords/businesses on this; it has lots of good info related to mj in general:

http://www.aoausa.com/magazine/?p=2566

It also mentions a case that occurred in Washington state, if @Marcia Maynard is interested.

@Steve Babiak , that is an interesting point!

@Carol Venolia  I'm super curious as to how you became aware they are a medical marijuana patient.  The manner in which they disclosed their patient status may be a really strong indicator, in regards to what kind of risk they are and what their intentions are.

John, the potential tenant sent me an email saying that he's a "215 patient" and has two dogs, and would either of those be a problem?

Kimberly, thanks for that link!

Carol,

Quick answer to how to tag users.  When you want to tag, start with the "@" symbol  and then start writing their name and a list of possible users will show at the bottom of the "Post a Reply" box then click on the name and it will be inserted and shaded blue to show that it works.  Give it a try @Carol Venolia  

215 is just another part of your form.  As a landlord you have to be specific on what is NOT allowed (smoking, growing, animals) and what the consequences are for violations.  

THe one problem that I see with most landlord is actually enforcing their agreements (smoking, late fees, background checks during application process etc) and this is where most big problems arise.  Just communicate what is expected and understand that enforcement is hard but its easier that having to deal with the large  headaches of not being consistent.

"Drug Free Zones" Differ by cities.  I am not sure what Santa Rosa's definition is.  You could state this in the lease telling them that they will need to apply all regulations pertaining to the "Drug Free Zone" so that as they definition changes you won't have to change the lease.

Thank you for your input, @Aaron (I don't think that @ thing worked)! Good points about communication and enforcement. And there you are in Santa Rosa, too!

@Aaron Hall   I finally followed your advice CORRECTLY and it worked! (re @)   ;-)

Originally posted by @Kimberly T. :

I recently read this article regarding mmj and landlords in CA, which basically says you have every right to reject them and that the courts have generally sided with landlords/businesses on this; it has lots of good info related to mj in general:

http://www.aoausa.com/magazine/?p=2566

It also mentions a case that occurred in Washington state, if @Marcia Maynard is interested.

 Excellent article! Thanks for sharing it! 

@Michele Fischer  and @Brandon Turner  I think you would find it interesting too. 

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