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Legal guide for renting to a Washington State Medical Marijuana patient.

Washougal, WA |

A friend of mine has a property in Washington state that he plans to fence in and rent a portion of to a legal Washington MMJ patient, but we're having issues figuring out how to make sure everything is in compliance with state law on his part. And that if possible there are proper clauses to make sure the patient and not the property owner are responsible if the patient violates state law in some manner regarding this operation of theirs.

Yes I understand Medical Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, but my friend just wants to make sure that everything is in order on a state level and to know what responsibilities he may have as a property owner.

Is there perhaps a default guide or document out there about this? I read through the rather lengthy brochure from the Department of Health on Medical Marijuana and found nothing relevant.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

In my humble opinion, your friend is daring the Justice Department to prosecute him.
The advice you and he need are far beyond what you can get here on AVVO, although the lawyers here are top notch.
There is recent NY Times article on this. Go find it and then go find a team of lawyers to give an opinion as to you friends criminal exposure.


I published a law review article on medical marijuana in Washington state. You can find a link to the article on my profile under "Publications."

You may find the article helpful, but it's generally published for a legal audience. If you want a personalized consultation regarding medical marijuana, you'll need to retain an attorney.


And I'm just chiming in to add that WA provides immunity to landlords for issues directly related to the tenant's decisions. I am not promising you anything, I am just saying there are cases out there where tenant did something, third party sued tenant and landlord on the theory that the landlord was responsible as the owner of the property, and the WA courts consistently say that conduct under the control of the tenant is *not* attributable to the landlord. See Frobig v Gordon, which involved, I kid you not, a tiger.

But I can also promise you that 99% of the commercial/residential tenancy issues I see happen because somebody took legal advice from their buddy the real estate agent, and thought they'd save money by not hiring a lawyer. This is not a good decision. So much could be saved with a consultation first!
Elizabeth Powell

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