With adult-use marijuana legal in New York, many questions arise about when and where you can legally use it.  Just because cannabis has been legalized, does not mean that it's a 'free-for-all.' There are still plenty of rules when it comes to consuming weed.  If you're a renter, you may be curious about what your landlord can do if he or she finds you using marijuana in their property (your home).  Here's what New York State law says about it.

Medical Marijuana

New York State passed a law in 2020 that says a landlord cannot evict a tenant for using medical marijuana in a rental property. The law says that a,

Tenant shall not be removed from possession of a residential unit pursuant to this article because of such person’s certified medical use of medical marihuana.”

Moving on from medical marijuana use, let's take a look at the law when it comes to recreational use.

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Smoking cannabis in New York State is guided by the Clean Indoor Air Act,

The Act prohibits smoking and vaping in almost all public and private indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars, to protect workers and the public from exposure to harmful secondhand tobacco smoke and vaping aerosols.

If your building has a common area, but there is an employee on-site, like a property manager or leasing agent, maintenance worker, or another type of employee, you will not be allowed to smoke. If smoking tobacco is prohibited anywhere in your building or on your rental property, you will not be allowed to smoke weed,

The smoking of cannabis is prohibited anywhere smoking tobacco is prohibited.

However, according to Spectrum, if tobacco smoking is allowed on the property, then weed smoke must also be allowed,

Landlords that allow for smoking on the premises must also allow for cannabis consumption.

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In addition to common areas, a landlord can regulate your ability to consume cannabis in one of his or her properties,

A landlord cannot refuse to rent to a tenant who uses cannabis, but landlords, property owners and rental companies can still ban the use of cannabis on their premises.

So, your landlord or even a hotel or Airbnb can prevent you from using cannabis, even though recreational use is legal in the state.

While growing marijuana at home will eventually be legal (a year and a half after the first retail sales), your landlord can also ban you from growing pot.

Be aware landlords, property owners and rental companies can still ban the use of cannabis on their premises.

The bottom line is that your landlord does have the right to prohibit your use of recreational marijuana. According to Nolo.com,

Even when there's no applicable anti-smoking law, landlords can limit or prohibit smoking anywhere on the rental premises, including individual units. Health concerns about secondhand smoke aside, landlords often prohibit smoking in an effort to limit fire hazards on the property, reduce fire insurance premiums, and avoid stains and odors.

The moral of the story is, that if you plan to consume marijuana in your rental home, smoking may not be the best option unless you have written consent from your landlord. You may be better off consuming edible cannabis products that are not easily detected. If there is a clause in your lease that prohibits smoking or the use of marijuana, then you can potentially be evicted, even though it is legal in New York State.

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