Cannabis Legalization & How It Affects Homeowners
Wednesday Oct 17th, 2018
On October 17, 2018 cannabis was officially legalized throughout Canada. The legalization of recreational cannabis is one of the largest policy changes in Ontario as of late. Here's what you need to know:
- Individuals of age are permitted to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis
- Tougher drug-impaired driving laws including zero tolerance for young and novice drivers
- Up to 4 plants may be grown per household including in apartments. Note that it is per residence, not per person. If a home has a legal basement apartment, this may be treated as separate from the upstairs unit
- The rules regarding cannabis are the same in relation to alcohol consumption
How does this affect homeowners?
- At the moment, there are no regulations in place to ensure safety or protect homes from mould
- Growing cannabis in a home increases the risk of damage therefore you should disclose this to your insurance company
- Even though it is legal to possess, use and grow recreational cannabis, landlords can include a clause in lease agreements to prevent a tenant from doing so
- Growing cannabis may void your home insurance policy or violate rules under your mortgage agreement
- Condominiums have the authority to regulate the use and production of cannabis under the Condominium Act including a total ban. Some buildings have already begun to do so
- Medicinal cannabis users may challenge certain rules as it may violate certain human rights
How are the rules different for condominium residents?
- You cannot smoke in any indoor common area of a condominium including parking garages, hallways or amenity areas
- While you are allowed to smoke in your unit, you cannot disturb others or be a nuisance
- Some buildings have changed their declaration or rules to ban smoking altogether, others will rely on the Condominium Act to deal with nuisance complaints
There will likely be cases of litigation in the future regarding proper disclosure of homes that have grown cannabis. Former grow-ops, even on a small scale can pose significant health and safety issues such as mould, fungus, unsafe wiring, chemicals etc. It is crucial that you proceed with caution whether you are a seller, buyer, landlord or tenant! Seek independent advice from the appropriate person(s).