Applicant wants to grow grow medical cannabis, has medical card

63 Replies

It's technically legal in WA to grow it with a medical card which he says he has and would gladly show me. I don't know what the effect on insurance would be or if they can prohibit it. He is offering to pay higher deposit and rent. Heck he could have done it and probably gotten away with it for a year before I did an inspection, and last few years I have not done any inspections as I've had higher class tenants.

What say ye?

Updated 11 months ago

NO MORE RESPONSES NEEDED, THE THREAD IS 3 PAGES LONG AND HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED, STOP RESPONDING PLEASE.

I don't really know the negative impacts on the property of growing it, but I would be concerned if he was using the property as his store front also.  That could be a lot of traffic.  If it's a multi family unit then could be a lot of disruption to the neighbors.

Since its legal in the state I dont think you can tell him he cant. But you'll have to ask a lawyer for sure on that one. This is for personal use only mind you. He can not sell it. So if he is caught selling it to others thats breaking the law. So at that point you can report him to the police which gives you grounds for eviction anyways. 

If you want to be sure I would consult with an attorney.  There are just to many ifs and risks for you in this situation especially if you allow the tenant to proceed and something were to happen.  Is he looking to grow indoors or outside?  I would simply turn him down citing issues with insurance, unnecessary energy usage if you cover utilities, and potential water/fire damage.  Make sure to empathize with his request and thank him for asking you before hand.  If you can demonstrate that you truly deliberated on the request they may be more likely to stick to your decision. 

The fact that it is legal in WA is meaningless. It is against FEDERAL law. If you want to deny him, then deny him because of Federal law and make that clear. Otherwise, you may open yourself up to a lawsuit because you discriminated over a medical condition. 

Personally, as long as he is not doing damage to the unit or growing it where others can see it (encourages theft), I wouldn't care. 

Originally posted by @Greg M. :

The fact that it is legal in WA is meaningless. It is against FEDERAL law. If you want to deny him, then deny him because of Federal law and make that clear. Otherwise, you may open yourself up to a lawsuit because you discriminated over a medical condition. 

Personally, as long as he is not doing damage to the unit or growing it where others can see it (encourages theft), I wouldn't care. 

This is correct. Federal law trumps state law. Even if it becomes federally legal, it seems unlikely that growing indoors will be a protected activity, as grow lights are a legitimate fire hazard.  

Seems like the tenant being honest and upfront about it is a pretty good 1st step to actually trust the guy....

West coast seems to be much more tolerable of the smokey smoke, but as mentioned, could cause issues if there's lot of traffic in and out of the home or bothering neighbors.

Originally posted by @Nik Moushon :

Since its legal in the state I dont think you can tell him he cant. But you'll have to ask a lawyer for sure on that one. This is for personal use only mind you. He can not sell it. So if he is caught selling it to others thats breaking the law. So at that point you can report him to the police which gives you grounds for eviction anyways. 

 Growing medical marijuana isn't a protected class....so yes I can tell him he can't by DENYING taking him as a tenant.

Originally posted by @James De Stefano :

Seems like the tenant being honest and upfront about it is a pretty good 1st step to actually trust the guy....

West coast seems to be much more tolerable of the smokey smoke, but as mentioned, could cause issues if there's lot of traffic in and out of the home or bothering neighbors.

 He has a medical card which allows you to grow up to 15 plants for personal use (seems unusually high if you ask me...no pun intended, I've never grown MJ but from what I understand/pictures a single mature plant provides A LOT of MJ).

This is what he said when I asked what the implications are...note he has an electrician tap into the electrical panel...

-------------------------------------

There are no effects on the electrical system other than higher electricity use. A light uses about as much electricity as a room heater on low. Typically I (hire an electrician) wire in timers to the panel, or to a sub panel and plug lights in to that. I do not use drip irrigation, pumps on times or any other sort of automated system that relies on mechanisms or are connected to water in any way. Just fill a reservoir, add some nutrients and hand water plants every 2-3 days. Humidity is totally controlled using fans and is never allowed to go to high. Plants are in trays, plastic/tarps cover anything that needs to be covered and water does not splash anywhere. I keep it pretty simple, limit equipment and extra gadgetry. I do not use toxic pesticides or do anything to compromise health, integrity of house, agreement with owner etc. I put the utmost care into cleanliness and organization.
How much I grow depends on a few things. Sometimes I start a lot of seeds and cull many of them off, I keep a variety of strains around so I can do feeding/pruning experiments. I flower fewer plants to see traits and results from experiments. It really depends on space, power, layout and other variables as to how much to actually grow. I do everything myself so I try to keep it within a maintainable amount.
The only damage I do is putting in a few hooks into joists and a few screws here and there, but not many. Those I just fill in with spackle and/or paint. In 15 years nobody has ever noticed a mark on their houses. If you have any other concerns or questions please let me know. I am available tomorrow late morning-early afternoon (ahead of traffic) to check out house if you would like to discuss things further. Thank you!

That seems well laid out and they understand what they're doing...only thing I'd verify is the electrician is licensed and insured.  Maybe increase the sec deposit if you're still concerned.

Assuming you're cool w. MJ though.

Originally posted by @Matt K. :

That seems well laid out and they understand what they're doing...only thing I'd verify is the electrician is licensed and insured.  Maybe increase the sec deposit if you're still concerned.

Assuming you're cool w. MJ though.

 Yeah I'm fine with it, but I need to check with the insurance company....and yes I was planning on asking him for proof a licensed electrician did the work. I'm also going to ask to inspect the current operation where he is at. I will also sit outside and watch traffic to see if he is selling it or what...if he is then no go.

But I figure this is a guaranteed tenant, at a higher rent and a higher security deposit. I'm asking $2,800 currently, I wonder what a fair amount would be to compensate me? $3,300 a month rent? And deposit going from 2K to 4K?

I would have two issues. One is it's a federal violation but more importantly, we don't rent to smokers. So unless he's going to eat this product, we wouldn't rent to him/her.

Originally posted by @Jack B. :
Originally posted by @Matt K.:

That seems well laid out and they understand what they're doing...only thing I'd verify is the electrician is licensed and insured.  Maybe increase the sec deposit if you're still concerned.

Assuming you're cool w. MJ though.

 Yeah I'm fine with it, but I need to check with the insurance company....and yes I was planning on asking him for proof a licensed electrician did the work. I'm also going to ask to inspect the current operation where he is at. I will also sit outside and watch traffic to see if he is selling it or what...if he is then no go.

But I figure this is a guaranteed tenant, at a higher rent and a higher security deposit. I'm asking $2,800 currently, I wonder what a fair amount would be to compensate me? $3,300 a month rent? And deposit going from 2K to 4K?

 Why would you jack up the rent? If anything let him upgrade your electrical, but you'd need a separate contract most likely to make sure he doesn't have ownership claims etc from the improvements...

@Jack B.

Ask an attorney and see if you can get it into your lease agreement at some point saying you can't grow any type of hemp or marijuana. They both can grow a mold that will spread to your walls and then keep on going. There was a rental near me that they had to redo the entire basement because of the mold. I don't know how much they were growing but in my state you can have 6 or 10 plants.

Originally posted by @Matt K. :
Originally posted by @Jack B.:
Originally posted by @Matt K.:

That seems well laid out and they understand what they're doing...only thing I'd verify is the electrician is licensed and insured.  Maybe increase the sec deposit if you're still concerned.

Assuming you're cool w. MJ though.

 Yeah I'm fine with it, but I need to check with the insurance company....and yes I was planning on asking him for proof a licensed electrician did the work. I'm also going to ask to inspect the current operation where he is at. I will also sit outside and watch traffic to see if he is selling it or what...if he is then no go.

But I figure this is a guaranteed tenant, at a higher rent and a higher security deposit. I'm asking $2,800 currently, I wonder what a fair amount would be to compensate me? $3,300 a month rent? And deposit going from 2K to 4K?

 Why would you jack up the rent? If anything let him upgrade your electrical, but you'd need a separate contract most likely to make sure he doesn't have ownership claims etc from the improvements...

Read my OP again and again until you understand...

I would be just fine with it. One thing to make sure of is that they don’t do any unsafe modifications to the electrical systems of the house. Growing weed requires a lot of electricity.

We had tenants who grew but they were less systematic. It was like they had a bunch of houseplants. The issue we had was they were very sensitive to having repair people in. For that reason I likely would not have tenants growing again. And the repair people knew they had plants.

My concerns would be:

-violation of federal law and liability for me as the property owner

-increased traffic if he is selling it

-possible electrical hazard

-humidity/mold

-smoking indoors

Those are 5 hurdles that could technically be overcome, but I like tenants that don't come with any such headwinds.

I personally don't have anything against it one way or the other but I personally wouldn't rent to him. 

1. It is against Federal Law. Marijuana is still Schedule 1. There's nothing to stop the DEA from smashing down your door and hauling him and his plants off to jail and leaving your house a wreck.

2. I generally discriminate against smokers of any kind. If I smell cigarette smoke on you there's a reasonably good chance I won't rent to you. 

3. Growing requires a lot of water and a lot of humidity, both of which are not good for a house.

4. Growing requires a load on the electrical panel. I don't want any tenants adding anything to my electrical panels, period. 

5. Growers attract people that you may not want on/at your property.

Reading through the guy's e-mail to you, it sounds like he does this *all the time*, which makes me wonder why he doesn't just buy his own place and do it in his house. The cynical part of me says that he doesn't because he knows he would be putting HIS assets in harm's way, since the Feds can seize the property in which it takes place - so he'd rather put YOUR assets at risk. 

Originally posted by @Wesley W. :

My concerns would be:

-violation of federal law and liability for me as the property owner

-increased traffic if he is selling it

-possible electrical hazard

-humidity/mold

-smoking indoors

Those are 5 hurdles that could technically be overcome, but I like tenants that don't come with any such headwinds.

🤣 Jinx! 


 

  

@Jack B. i have experience with this sort of thing. As long as he gets a certified electrician to do the work and doesn’t cut holes in walls or ceilings for exhaust ventilation( the lights can get hot and the heat needs to be removed) you would be fine. Furthermore if he could teach you a little about what to say to the next renter about what is allowed, and you are cool with it you would have renters lined up forever if they know the heavy lifting has already been done.

Bad situation for a landlord. It is against federal law. If you knowingly rent to someone who is growing, where does that place you on a liability spectrum? Could it be cause for an insurance company to deny a fire claim? 

The other down side of growing is electricity usage and fire hazard from grow lights. What if they end up growing to sell to others? The question then becomes, how big is the grow operation and is it attracting undesirable people to the property?

We see lots of people from California get arrested traveling through my state for drug trafficking. So it is legal there, but entrepreneurs see an undeserved market in the Midwest where it is illegal. (By the way if you are trafficking drugs, here is a tip, go the speed limit).

It seems like too much risk for me, but I would consult a local attorney. No moral high ground here, just trying to look out for my business.

@Jack B. The moisture from the plants will eventually eat away at the house. If you really want to allow it force the use of tents and make sure it's ventilated properly.. Chances are you will be able to smell it from the driveway. In my state a tenant has to disclose intentions and as a landlord there is no law that forces us to let them.. Medicinal or not.

I'm an advocate for Marijuana but the truth is it can really damage the property. Flooding moisture etc.

Goodluck

Jack,
There are several exclusions on the standard homeowners policy (I know that this a rental but the exclusions are often similar) that would possibly be trouble. One is an exclusion for Business Use of the property and also a specific exclusion for controlled substances. You should consult your agent to find out if policy has any limitations or exclusions based on the Tenants operation. If so, have them quote a policy that will allow for the tenant growing the plants.