When you look back on the year 2018, what will you remember the most?
For many, it will be the year that marijuana legalization came into effect. As of October 17, 2018, newly implemented federal and provincial legalization makes it legal to now use, possess and produce cannabis for recreational purposes in private residences. Cannabis can now be smoked wherever tobacco smoking is permitted.
As a property manager or a condo Board member, knowing about the new legislation is necessary in order to understand the implications of it in your condo building. Here are some tips to keep in mind regarding condominiums and recreational cannabis legalization.
The Background on Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017
Under the new legislation, condominium occupants aged 19 years and older are now able to use recreational cannabis in the unit or on common element space. Each residence/unit (not occupant) is also allowed to grow up to four plants.
Although smoking cannabis is prohibited in any indoor common area (including parking garages, party or entertainment rooms and gym and laundry facilities), there are currently no laws about smoking cannabis in private units.
The Implications of the New Legislation on Your Condo Community
What does the new implementation mean for your condo building and its tenants?
Here are three of the biggest concerns:
- Deciding to Ban Cannabis Smoking: Your condo Board will need to decide whether to ban smoking of cannabis in residential units, balconies or terraces. However, condo occupants who smoke or vape cannabis due to medical reasons must be accommodated, unless it would cause undue hardship. Otherwise, you may be violating the Ontario Human Rights Code.
- Concerns for Changes to Condo Living Environment: Like smoking marijuana itself, marijuana grow operations can create a smoke and odour problem. To encourage rapid growth, many cultivators create a hot and humid environment. Besides possibly increasing utility bills, this could create a concern for the development of mould within units.
- Process Required to Make, Amend or Repeal a Rule Related to Cannabis: Under section 58 of the Act, a condo board is allowed to make, amend or repeal a rule that is reasonable and consistent with the Act, declaration and by-laws. However, changes must be done to either promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners/occupants and the condo building or to prevent the unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the property. If any changes are made, the proposed new or amended rule must be properly circulated to the corporations’ owners.
With Ontario’s legalization of cannabis now in effect, condo Boards will have to make some decisions about the rollout in their buildings. For more information about changing the rules related to cannabis in your condo building, check out this link.
By Sarah McKenzie