RESIDENTIAL LEASES CAN BAN MARIJUANA, NEW LAW SAYS
An amendment to Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act (the Act) that is set to take effect on April 10 will allow residential property owners in Michigan to prohibit their tenants from smoking or growing marijuana on the leased premises, provided such prohibition is included in the parties’ written lease. https://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2015-2016/publicact/pdf/2016-PA-0546.pdf. The legislation is in accord with a 2011 Attorney General Opinion, which stated that hotel, motel or apartment building owners would not violate the Act by prohibiting the smoking or cultivation of marijuana on their premises, and that property owners who do allow such activity may be subject to prosecution, civil forfeiture or other penalty under the federal Controlled Substances Act. http://www.ag.state.mi.us/opinion/datafiles/2010s/op10340.htm. Advocates view this legislative clarification as a win for landlords, saying it will reduce property damage, fire risks, electric bills and odor-related issues posed by the use and/or cultivation of marijuana in residential rental properties. Residential landlords may want to revise their leases to take advantage of the new law.