Real Estate & Property Law

Homeowners' associations: Just because pot is legal doesn't mean you can smoke or grow it


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There are still plenty of details to work out as more and more states legalize marijuana: for example, homeowners’ associations can ban such practices when others can see it or smell it being used, the Associated Press reports.

“The fact that people may be legally entitled to smoke doesn’t mean they can do it wherever they want, any more than they could walk into a restaurant and light up a cigarette,” Richard Thompson, who owns a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations, told the AP.

In the fast-paced pullback from marijuana prohibition—23 states now have some form of legalization—lawyers specializing in homeowners’ associations say conflicts among neighbors are increasing.

“What we’re really seeing more now is regulating the associations’ common areas,” such as smoke wafting onto playgrounds or others’ porches, said Erin McManis, an attorney in Phoenix whose firm represents hundreds of Arizona HOAs.

Even non-intoxicating hemp was too much for a homeowners’ association near Denver, which declared that one resident’s backyard crop had to go, the AP reports.

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