Apartment Marijuana Smoking Ban Could Become California Law


Renters may face eviction or other new consequences from smoking marijuana in their home under a new law working its way through Sacramento this spring.

Assembly Bill 2300 explicitly codifies a landlord’s existing right to prohibit pot smoking in the rentals they own, even if the tenant is a qualified medical marijuana patient. The bill has passed several hurdles in Sacramento and heads to the Senate Committee on Rules for assignment this May.

Some medical cannabis advocates oppose the law, which they say narrows the rights of patients to use the drug as they or their doctors see fit. But other advocates note California landlords already have the right to prohibit smoking in rentals, under existing clean air laws, and this law merely codifies it. Patients could also use vaporizers, edibles, tinctures, or other modes to cut down on the potentially skunky smell of cannabis flowers.

Cannabis smoke odor complaints regularly bedevil landlords who manage multi-unit apartments and condos. One in 20 California adults are thought to have used marijuana medically. About six percent of Americans are regular cannabis users.

AB 2300 is but one of several bills touching on marijuana this session in California, according to the state's bill tracking system.

Chief among them:
  • AB 821 will allow dispensaries to pay their sales taxes in cash, and goes to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee May 11
  • AB 1575 makes the foul-sounding Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) into the more neutral Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), and calls for other changes to facilitate pot banking, like protection from criminal liability. The bill goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 11.  (MRSA is already a popular acronym for sometimes deadly anti-biotic resistant bacterial infection.)
  • AB 2243 is a tax on medical pot growers of $9.25 per ounce for lowers, $2.75 for leaves, $1.25 per immature plant. It goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 11.
  • And AB 2385 smooths the way for Los Angeles dispensaries to get state permits. The fix-it bill will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 11.
There were 40 marijuana-related bills listed as active in this session. Many relate to 2015 laws passed, while others have already failed — like a bill to ban glass pipe shops. Another highly watched bill to create a “cottage” license for very small medical pot farmers is in the ’suspense file’ pending other matters.