Good Question: Do non-smoking policies apply to cannabis?

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — This good question is about non-smoking policies and whether they apply to more than just tobacco. We’re talking about cannabis.

If you’ve ever gotten a whiff of it in your apartment building or complex and your complex has a non-smoking policy, you might’ve wondered, is cannabis included in that policy?  

That’s what one of you asked about. Kyle writes: “I currently live in a rental complex that has a smoke-free policy regarding tobacco use inside the units. There seems to be confusion if this policy also covers smoking of marijuana. Isn’t smoke smoke whether it comes from tobacco or marijuana?” 

New York State’s Clean Indoor Air Act “prohibits smoking and vaping in almost all public and private indoor workplaces” To Kyle’s point, what about private residences? What about cannabis specifically?

It depends on a couple of things. First, where you live. Cities and towns can set their own rules for smoking cannabis, which can include restrictions on rental properties.

Second, it depends on your lease or rental agreement.

If you’re like Kyle and you live in a complex with a 100% “no smoking” policy for tobacco, the policy likely applies to all forms of smoke including cannabis.

Since the passage of the Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act in 2021, technically you are allowed to smoke cannabis wherever you’re allowed to smoke tobacco.

However, cannabis.ny.gov says, “landlords, property owners, and rental companies can still ban the smoking or vaporizing of cannabis on their premises.”

People with disabilities who use medical cannabis may be permitted to smoke in non-smoking areas. if you’re wondering about the policy where you live, the best thing to do is check with your landlord or check your lease. it is a requirement for landlords to share any non-smoking policies with you before you sign.

If you have a good question, send it to us at goodquestion@whec.com