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Marijuana Policies Debated At HOA Conference

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DENVER (CBS4) – How to deal with marijuana smoking on private property was the subject of debate at a Homeowner’s Association conference in Denver.

Currently HOAs are treating marijuana as another nuisance and many are trying to work within their own policies.

Bigger problems arise when homes are close together like townhomes or condominiums.

“We have seen kind of a dramatic uptick in the number of complaints about the smell, of the use,” said Jason Helzer from Proactive Community Management.

At 30 communities across Denver, Proactive Community Management is no stranger to dealing with issues but they are unsure of what they can and can’t do when it comes to marijuana.

“It’s a really gray right now because there’s just not enough known about the law and the way the law works,” said Helzer.

The topic is one of the most talked about at the spring showcase conference for HOAs put on by the Colorado Associations Institute.

Mark Payne from the Communities Associations Institute says problems stem from the legal right to marijuana use on private property versus those who choose not to yet are exposed through balconies, vents and overall proximity.

“Mostly what we see is that they are trying to address it the same way that you address smoking,” said Payne.

It gets more complicated when communities with shared utilities see an uptick in bills and find a homeowner is using extra water and electricity to grow marijuana.

“Now 90 owners are paying for the 91st owner to have a grow operation in his unit,” said Payne.

Currently most HOAs are treating marijuana as a public nuisance, but as Colorado adjusts the new law, property managers say in the future it may soon be a new clause in HOA agreements.

“It’s going to go under any other nuisance you would see in multi-family living,” said Helzer.

Right now HOAs are dealing with the issue of marijuana on a case-by-case basis but some are calling for a community wide effort and agreement to streamline the rules and regulations.

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