As community associations grapple with approving and enforcing rules and regulations, there is a new issue to consider. The use of cannabis in states where it is legal for medical or recreational use must be addressed. I am not qualified to offer any legal analysis, but as property managers, enforcing the rules is frequently a large part of our daily duties.
Rules need to meet three criteria: (1) They must be consistent with the formal documents. (2) They must be reasonable. (3) They must be enforceable. A discussion with association counsel regarding document changes should be a first priority. I recently had a conversation with a board president about limiting smoking of cigars on common property because it was “more offensive” than cigarette smoke. “Interesting perspective, how do you feel about marijuana smoke”? I asked. She looked stunned. I reminded her that in November 2016, Florida approved the use of medical marijuana. “Oh.” She responded.
Oh, indeed. Currently, twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have some form of legalization for marijuana use (medical or recreational). This past November, Florida approved the use of medical marijuana by a whopping 71%! It is likely that it is only a matter of time before Florida and many other states legalize recreational use. This is a real and pressing issue for common interest communities. In condominiums with party walls, ducts, systems and balconies, this new liberty presents a problem for the community association industry writ large.
Community association managers, directors, and attorneys have to deal with the reality of this new matter. The world is changing, and we have to help our clients navigate the changes in a proactive way. These conversations need to be had early, and often.
Are you ready for Mary Jane?
Endeavor to persevere.
Tanoa Lynne Poirier is the Managing Principal at Poirier Enterprises Inc., specializing in the management of community associations, commercial and investment properties, and individual residences in South Florida.
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