Supreme Court Ruling That Landlords Can Evict Medical Marijuana Users
People are reacting to an Oregon Supreme Court ruling late last year that landlords can choose to evict tenants that are medical marijuana cardholders. In November, the Oregon Supreme Court said that housing providers are not required to rent to medical marijuana cardholders. The Southern Oregon Cannabis Center alleges the ruling makes medical marijuana users second-class citizens. However, some landlords welcome the ruling, saying that renters who grow marijuana indoors do damage to walls and ceilings when they knock holes in walls for ventilation and lighting fixtures.
"I didn't have the opportunity to say, 'you're not doing this properly, you're ruining the walls, there's mold growing in that corner over there'," said Laurel Adams with the Rental Owners Association. Many landlords say their resident won't reveal that they grow, and the landlords only find out during inspections. Some say medical marijuana growers have been a magnet for other crimes, like robbery and assault. However, cardholders say they have the legal right to use pot just as anyone else would use a prescription medicine. Representatives with the Southern Oregon Cannabis Center say that of their 600 members, only one has been evicted for being a cardholder.
Investing in Medical Marijuana
Last year sales of medical marijuana in California exceeded $1.3 billion, which was roughly 9% of the estimated $14 billion in revenue from all pot sales in the state. This percentage is quickly getting larger in a market that continues to grow. Assuming the overall market reaches $16 billion in 2014, while the medical marijuana percentage grows to 15%, California medical cannabis will represent a $2.4 billion industry in two years.
A feature article in Mother Jones Magazine, reads, “In many respects, the semi-legit marijuana market resembles the early days of the internet bubble, where start-ups helmed by young entrepreneurs with risky business plans sought venture capital and dreamed of stock offerings. Where dot-coms had server farms, the pot-coms have high-tech ‘grow ops’ indoor farms of wires, fans, and coiled air ducts that keep genetically selected, cloned pot plants growing 24/7.”
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"Getting in bed with a quasi-legal industry has drawbacks. If city government became reliant on tax revenue from medical marijuana sellers, city officials would be less likely to pass ordinances restricting their operations and police would be less inclined to raid their establishments to check whether they're really running on a nonprofit basis. A decrease in such scrutiny would encourage more illegal for-profit dispensaries, which draw other kinds of crime."
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