Massachusetts Tenants: Is It Legal to Smoke Marijuana in Your Apartment?

Q: Now that the recreational use of marijuana is legal in Massachusetts does a landlord have to allow tenants to smoke or grow marijuana in rental property?

A: No. As written, the new Massachusetts marijuana use law allows for landlords to prohibit the smoking of marijuana on or in their property. However this needs to be handled carefully. Property owners and landlords should check the language of their lease agreements about this. Most lease forms do not specifically identify marijuana use as a prohibited activity so it’s likely landlords will need to rely on the general lease language governing acceptable on premises behavior.Therefore, it will be a good idea to specifically address this issue in lease agreements going forward.

Just as a landlord may prohibit smoking of cigarettes in an apartment, they may also prohibit smoking of marijuana. And as to cultivation of marijuana, an owner may prohibit the cultivation of marijuana but again specifying this in the lease will certainly help avoid arguments and unnecessary legal action.

Please keep in mind that marijuana remains a Schedule 1 illegal substance under federal law. As of now the federal government has stated it will not enforce this federal law in those states that permit recreational marijuana usage but there is no guarantee that they will keep this position in the future as more and more states change their laws to allow for the use of marijuana.

Feel free to contact your trusted counsel at Percy Law Group, PC for help with this and any other legal issue affecting your life and business: (508) 828-1900, tpercy@percylawgroup.com.