A bill headed to the House this week would give landlords a say in whether their tenants can grow or smoke medical marijuana in a rental.
Senate Bill 72 passed out of the Senate 34-3 about two weeks ago. It makes it possible for landlords to ban marijuana smoking and growing in their rental units.
The legislation excludes edible marijuana, or “medibles.”
“I totally agree with it, especially in the multi-units,” said Mike Bodeis, president for the Port Huron Area Landlords Association.
“If you’re allowed to have a smoke free building, you should be allowed to have a marijuana free building.”
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said he proposed the legislation when he received complaints from people in his district about rental houses damaged by grow operations.
“I’m simply clarifying the medical marijuana law,” Jones said.
“This will make sure it is very clear for everyone — from a judge to police to the property owner to the renter.”
Bodeis said he has heard of occurrences where grow operations have lead to mold, water damage, or fires started by a grow light.
“You can tell right away if someone’s growing marijuana,” Bodeis said. “Your electric bill is outrageous.
“But some of our members with multi-units can’t pinpoint where the problem is.”
Laura Rigby is director of the Coalition for a Safer Port Huron, the group that was instrumental in putting a petition on the November ballot changing the city ordinance to allow usage of small amounts of recreational marijuana within the city.
Rigby said she believes Jones’ legislation is unnecessary as it relates to smoking marijuana.
“The landlords already have that power to be able to say no smoking in their building,” Rigby said. “In that case, I think it’s more of a token legislation.”
But Rigby said she understands the need to control growers in rentals.
“I do understand the need because there are some bad growers,” Rigby said.
“It can mold, it can leak, it can do damage to the building. They already have issues with bad tenants, let alone bad growers.”
Jones said the bill likely will go to committee in the House sometime this week.
VIA The Times Herald