Now that weed is legal in Massachusetts, anyone 21 or over can possess up to 10 ounces within their home and one ounce on the streets. How about the over 800,000 people renting in MA? Even possessing marijuana at home isn’t a given right to all people renting or leasing property. We explain if it’s legal to smoke weed in your apartment in Massachusetts.
Can I Smoke Marijuana In My Apartment In MA?
The short answer is that it’s up to each landlord to decide. “Some landlords might be okay with it, and other would say absolutely not,” said Adam Fine, one attorney who helped create the marijuana legalization law that just passed in MA.
Fortunately, possession should be legal in most apartments with a few exceptions. The first being if your landlord puts a particular no weed possession clause in the lease agreement you signed. Much like doctors who were afraid of federal repercussions and wouldn’t recommend marijuana, some landlord may not want federal laws broken on their property. However, if they neglect to put it in the lease agreement possession should be a green light for you.
Additionally, landlords that receive federal funding, like Section 8 housing must adhere to federal laws. So, they can’t allow smoking or even possession on their property.
Another way for landlords to prevent smoking on their premises is the way they always have, “No Smoking” policies. If smoking weren’t allowed in your apartment before legalization, it wouldn’t be now.
Since weed is so pungent, cannabis smoke can be considered disturbing to others. Landlords can have policies that prevent the disturbing of other residents in the building. The smell of your weed will be annoying to some. In cases like this, you can’t smoke, but you can still possess and maybe vaporize somewhere your neighbors can’t smell from.
If not disturbing others is the only rules in place, you can still get your high from eating edibles. Eating it isn’t bothering anyone else in your building so you shouldn’t be violating any rules.
How Hard Is It To Find Cannabis Friendly Housing In MA?
Landlords who offer cannabis-friendly housing may be hard to find. Even the ones who are OK with it will likely keep it on the low. So they can prevent any federal consequences. Landlords who advertise cannabis friendly apartments can be shut down by the government, says Doug Quattrochi, executive director at MassLandlords Inc. an advocacy group for landlords.
What If I’m a Medical Marijuana Patient?
Medical and Recreational marijuana regulations are separated. Medical is handled by the Department of Public Health. The recreational system is overseen by the state treasurer’s office. Fortunately, medical marijuana patients in Massachusetts have the right not to be discriminated against based on their medical condition. So, they may be exempt from some of the rules landlords in MA have.
So, you may be able to smoke up at your apartment in Massachusetts. But that’s only if your landlord is chill. Retail sales of marijuana may not start until 2018 so you can find weed-friendly housing in the meantime.