The Michigan House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act on Tuesday that will protect landlords who prohibit the use of marijuana on their property, including medicinal marijuana.
The amendment, introduced as Senate Bill 72 by state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, states that a landlord is not required to lease residential property to any person who smokes or cultivates marijuana on the premises if the lease stipulated a prohibition on the drug.
Attorney and Michigan Cannabis Development Association spokeswoman Denise Pollicella testified in favor of the amendment, and said it will prevent “unnecessary litigations.”
“This bill codifies what is already existing property laws,” Pollicella said. “We support efforts to clarify any person’s right or responsibilities under the Medical Marihuana Act of 2008 and under Michigan property laws, and this legislation will allow parties to a real estate contract to know in advance what their contractual duties are.”
Pollicella said the bill will support both patients and caregivers, as well as private property owners.
Although the amendment was approved, it also received opposition from medical marijuana advocacy groups.
Matthew Abel, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the amendment was “completely unnecessary.”
“A landlord already has the right to put any legal provision on a lease,” Abel said. “This is a waste of time.”
Instead of discussing Senate Bill 72, Abel urged the committee to discuss the marijuana dispensaries and marijuana edibles bills.
Edibles and marijuana dispensaries are not covered under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
State Reps. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, and Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, introduced on February 2015 a bill that would regulate dispensaries and an additional bill that would clarify what forms of marijuana patients can use and buy.