Marijuana and HOAs: Can homeowners groups ban people from growing, using pot?
|A graphic from the Community Associations Institute-Rocky Mountain chapter's website.|
NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT A PERSON, EMPLOYER, SCHOOL, HOSPITAL, DETENTION FACILITY, CORPORATION OR ANY OTHER ENTITY WHO OCCUPIES, OWNS OR CONTROLS A PROPERTY FROM PROHIBITING OR OTHERWISE REGULATING THE POSSESSION, CONSUMPTION, USE, DISPLAY, TRANSFER, DISTRIBUTION, SALE, TRANSPORTATION, OR GROWING OF MARIJUANA ON OR IN THAT PROPERTY.Still, Orten concedes that the parameters of this language are largely untested.
"Amendment 64 talks about control of property and the ability to regulate -- but where does awareness of control begin and end?" he asks. "Does it exist only in a lobby, in common-element restrooms, in meeting rooms, locker rooms, etc.? Or does it extend to the units themselves? That question is out there -- but I think that if associations take a balanced approach to this, that envelope won't be tested."
Also important to consider: As Orten points out, "associations have a set of documents that establish them and define restrictions and rules that are binding on owners, and typically, those documents are written by developers, and not so easily changed by owners and the association. That's kind of an impediment to creating new covenants and restrictions regulating use inside of a unit.
"You can present the question this way: How many unit owners in any condominium community would like owners to regulate what happens inside their unit? Most owners would say they're not really interested in that -- but to amend, you'd generally need 67 percent of owners to approve it. So even if it's legally possible, it might not be practically possible. So you're back to the context."
In his view, then, "if you have a smaller community that's really sensitive to odors because of common ventilation issues, they might be keen on this. But if you've got a bigger community, where ventilation allows for less seepage into units, the whole idea of marijuana smoke or any other offensive odor may be a lot less relevant, and they might not be interested in regulation."
And if they are? There may be nothing stopping them.
For more about tomorrow's event and the CAI-RMC Spring Showcase in general, click here.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division gets awful grade in auditor's report."