Landowners and Marijuana Cultivation
Throughout the state of California, municipalities are granting permits for legal (at least per state law) marijuana cultivation. These permits often have detailed requirements, including obligating the owner to maintain the premises in a secure manner, carry insurance and not cultivate outdoors. Certain areas and types/sizes of buildings are usually off limits.
A word of caution. Should you lease your property to a person in the business of marijuana cultivation that begins with a legal permit but later becomes illegal, usually for failing to fulfill the requirements of the permit, you could be liable for significant civil penalties. In the City of Sacramento for example, an illegal marijuana grow will incur civil penalties equal to $500 for each plant seized. For commercial operations that have gone afoul of their permit requirements this can mean multi-million dollar penalties for the property owner.
You are now asking yourself, “if I have leased this property and its problems why is it my issue?” As the property owner, you have an affirmative duty to make sure your property is used and maintained legally. Additionally, you are the likely deep pocket with a leasee who is often bankrupt.
The Bruce Law Firm can help answer questions about marijuana cultivation and your rights as either a landlord or tenant. Do not lease the property and walk away. Have a solid lease agreement. Be involved and ask questions. Your financial well-being depends on it.