By: Aldon Bolanos
One of the newer and more difficult issues to surface recently is the tenant who is licensed to carry, consume, and even cultivate and grow medicinal marijuana. Landlords who are surprised when their property is being used as a marijuana farm are doubly surprised when they encounter difficulty in compelling the tenant to refrain from engaging what is seemingly unlawful activity. This article focuses on the state of the law and strategies for dealing with tenants who possess and cultivate marijuana lawfully under California law.
First, the law: The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 provides immunity from prosecution under California’s drug laws for anyone who possesses or cultivates marijuana with the approval of a licensed physician. However, this directly conflicts with the federal Controlled Substances Act, which makes the manufacture, distribution, or possession of marijuana a criminal offense.