Some Massachusetts Landlords Are Trying To Ban Edibles, But Can They?

By Terry Hacienda, The Fresh Toast on

Published in Cannabis Daily

To ban residents from consuming any form of cannabis is playing into the stereotype that cannabis users are “less than” their non-smoking counterparts.

Can your landlords evict you for smoking cannabis on their property? In Massachusetts, landlords do have the right to evict you if you “smoke” but they do not have permission to evict you for possessing or consuming it. But that doesn’t mean that some landlords aren’t trying.

Some landlords in MA are trying to ban all forms of cannabis consumption, whether eating it or simply possessing it on the property. Some of these clauses include, “immediate eviction” which have left some tenants on edge about where they can and cannot smoke.

With legalization comes different problems and while previously, these laws may have been overlooked due to the illegality of cannabis. However, when a substance is legally permitted within a state it may clash with the property rights of landlords.

This puts tenant and landlord at odds which is not the ideal situation when talking about the place where someone needs to feel safe and secure — their home.

But it also creates an interesting debate: Who has more power in this situation? After all, tenants are living on the property of landlords and within the context of “property rights” – the landlord does have a right to ask a tenant to refrain from certain activities.


This doesn’t mean that it’s right and, more importantly, unless you are spying on your tenants, it would be very difficult to enforce.  Yet some landlords believe it’s their duty to deter people from smoking weed on their property. Misconceptions about cannabis One of the primary reasons why landlords do not want cannabis in their homes is because the “smoke” might damage the property, meaning there is a devaluation of the asset. This, however, hardly happens. People don’t smoke nearly as much weed as they do tobacco in terms of frequency. Whereas a cigarette is far more compulsory than a joint, cannabis smoke does not impregnate as much as tobacco.

This isn’t to say that it doesn’t smell at all. On the contrary, it can be dank indeed.

Another reason landlords are ware of cannabis consumers are because of the “fear of cultivation”. Under US law, if a “crime has been committed on a property, the property can stand trial”. In other words, the landlord may have their house stand trial if you get busted for pot.

They may also fear damages from inexperienced growers trying to crop out indoors without knowing how to properly regulate humidity levels.


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