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Landlords to pot growers: Toke off!

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis November 13, 2012 06:49 AM

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The Bay State's just-passed medical pot law has a great big hazy loophole allowing for users to grow their own personal stash at home.

And a group that goes to bat for small landlords across the state is smoking mad - and for good reason.

In a pamphlet circulated to lawmakers on Beacon Hill, the Small Property Owners Association contends landlords could wind up losing their properties in drug busts as a result of the state's new medical pot law, the Boston Herald reports.

Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and agents routinely seize growing operations - and the buildings they are housed in.

SPOA also worries that tenants given a green light to grow their own stash - and maybe more - could wind up as targets for thieves looking for a quick score.

There's also an added reason to be concerned - fire safety.

A tenant who is growing his or her own supply is probably also lighting up as well. As noted in yesterday's post, smoking has long been the leading cause of fire deaths.

The state's small landlords, who rent a few units at a time in homes and small apartment buildings, want the Legislature to grant them an opt-out of the new law.

The state's new pot law was ostensibly passed to provide access to seriously ill patients seeking pain relief.

The law sailed through with a two-thirds majority, despite big warning signs from other states like California and Colorado where medical marijuana has become an opening for outright legalization. In fact, Colorado, which now has an incredible 100,000 medical marijuana users and more pot dispensaries in Denver than Starbucks, just passed another law legalizing recreational pot use.

For its part, the Massachusetts law already gives a green light to a network of 35 "dispensaries"  - quite a network in a fairly small New England state.

If you are healthy enough to cultivate a pot patch at home, you can also probably figure out how to either get out to a dispensary or have a friend/relative make a run.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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