Legalized recreational marijuana was the topic of a Legal Services Forum on Wednesday.

Illinois REALTORS® Chief Legal Counsel Betsy Urbance discusses changes to the state laws regarding marijuana which go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Illinois REALTORS® heard information on a range of issues facing real estate agents, including a major change in the state’s laws applying to marijuana, during a Legal Services Forum held at the association’s Fall Business Meetings in Naperville. 

On Jan. 1, 2020, marijuana will be legal in Illinois, presenting a range of issues for real estate practitioners from managing an office to advising on disclosure. Providing an overview on Thursday of the new law and its impacts was Illinois was Betsy Urbance, Illinois REALTORS® Chief Legal Counsel.  

Among things REALTORS® should be aware of.  

  • At the federal level, marijuana is still considered illegal, although recreational marijuana use will be legal in Illinois.  “Presently there is not a lot of enforcement at the federal level;” Urbance said.  
  • Office policies may need a review. While managers cannot control what their contractors or employees do off the job, they can have rules which clearly state the contractors or employees cannot be impaired in any way while working.   
  • REALTORS® should be aware that marijuana cultivation indoors can have impacts including excessive electricity usage and there is the potential for high humidity as a result of how the plants are grown. If an agent sees mold or water damage that may have resulted from indoor cultivation, they should have a conversation with the property owner about disclosure of a physical defect. Regardless, the disclosure rules currently used remain in place.  
  • Property managers can limit smoking in rental units. This means the property owner can have a policy that tenants cannot smoke marijuana in a rental unit, but they will not be able to stop a tenant from using other means of using marijuana, such as ingestibles 

The state association will have a comprehensive article on the impacts of the marijuana law changes in the October issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.