Medical Marijuana in IL and how it affects landlords

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Thanks @John Weidner  for pointing this out.  Illinois is a medical marijuana state but we do not have dispensaries yet.  But this was sent out in our Realtor Newsletter about how the new laws in place will affect landlords in Illinois and Chicago.  See below:

Individuals may qualify for a registration identification card by having a debilitating medical condition listed in the statute. Approximately 40 conditions are currently included, such as cancer, types of spinal cord disease, and Rheumatoid arthritis. The statute prohibits landlords and property managers from refusing to lease to or otherwise penalize a person solely for his or her status as a registered patient legally authorized to purchase and use marijuana for medical purposes. This anti-discrimination provision does not apply if renting to such a person would cause the lessor to lose a monetary or license-related benefit under federal law. It also does not prevent a landlord from prohibiting the smoking of marijuana on the premises consistent with existing smoke-free statutes and ordinances throughout Illinois. The Act authorizes cultivation centers and dispensers to produce marijuana-infused products like baked goods, oils, sodas, teas, and capsules, making smoking only one alternative method for using medical marijuana.

In addition, the Act contains a blanket statement that it does not require any person or establishment in possession of property to allow a registered patient to use marijuana on that property. In other words, no property owner or tenant has to let any guest, client, customer or visitor use or smoke marijuana even though that person may be a registered patient. A landlord is not technically “in possession” of leased property and, therefore, cannot prohibit legal use (except for smoking).

Just how the new statute will interact with existing “crime-free” type ordinances enacted by many municipalities may be interesting. Most of these local ordinances include tenant violations of federal laws as a basis for requiring a landlord to initiate eviction proceedings and for revoking a landlord’s rental license. It is also illegal under the State statute to use medical marijuana in public, defined as any place where an individual could reasonably be expected to be observed by others. That could include the common areas of an apartment building. Because growing, selling, and possessing marijuana is still a federal crime, ordinances and crime-free lease addenda should probably be amended to exclude marijuana-related activities authorized and licensed under the statute. Until then, landlords will have to rely on the statute’s provision that local governments in Illinois may not prohibit or regulate use that is in compliance with the statute.

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Wisconsin (#57846-90) and Illinois (#471.018287)

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