Property Management and the Legalization of Marijuana

Virtually every property management company has strict rules against the use of illegal drugs on their property. It’s a policy designed to keep everyone safe, to uphold community standards, and to ensure compliance with state and federal laws.

The anti-drug rule became a challenge, however, when medicinal marijuana became legalized. If a tenant had a valid prescription from a licensed physician, what could a property manager do besides make allowances for it? This, of course, led to situations of “Well if he can, why can’t I?” which are always a headache for property managers no matter what the subject.

Now with certain states legalizing marijuana and more trending that way, property managers are going to have to deal with a whole new set of issues. Will pot-friendly properties be the wave of the future? Will the growing of marijuana on the property be allowed? How will property managers deal with prospective tenants who don’t want to be exposed to marijuana where they live? How will property managers handle drug testing of their staff?

There are still a lot of questions to be answered with regard to legalized marijuana and property management, and as more states legalize, the situation will only become more complex. Forward-looking property managers should take the time now to decide their policies on this issue so they’ll be prepared when and if the time comes.

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