Some condo boards and apartment complexes are bracing for the flood of complaints about medical marijuana smoke they expect to start coming this year. No dispensaries are open in Hawaii yet, but the state has 13,000 registered medical marijuana patients.
Records indicate that a large portion of the medical marijuana patients live in condos or apartments, according to KITV Island News. While some complaints have come in, property owners expect them to flood in as the patient base grows and dispensaries open up. Compromising to uphold a property’s right to be smoke-free and a patient’s right to use his/her medicine have been difficult to reach.
Representative Della Au Bellati said, “The compromise is about allowing medical marijuana in other forms, except for smoking if there are other prohibitions about smoking in the building.”
Associa Hawaii has been speaking with the members of the organization to determine how to approach and manage marijuana smoke complaints.
Scott Sherley of Associa Hawaii said, “How boards are approaching that they are starting to have rules that say no noxious smells from your lanai, going so far as saying no noxious smells from your unit, thereby taking care of anybody smokes on their lanai, cigars or even the medical marijuana. It may be other things like incense or other things that may be bothering the neighbor next door.”
Newly built buildings, like smoke-free high rises in Kakaako, may not be a residency option for medical marijuana patients.
Sherley said, “Having a smoke-free building is a big priority for some people, so they are automatically putting it into the bylaws that will be part of the building when they start selling them.”
Some buildings are even banning the use of e-cigarettes, so for medical marijuana patients using vape pens, it may also be a problem. The residue from the marijuana smoke is a concern for some building owners.
Sherley suggested a solution for property owners by saying, “IF the person takes the medical marijuana by smoking, and there is a no-smoking policy then the association can enforce the smoking portion, not targeting the medical marijuana.”