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Cannabis & Condos in Ontario

September 28, 2018
Condos & Cannabis

This is certainly a HOT topic in the news! Once Ontario’s Cannabis Act 2017 is in force, it will allow condominium occupants, aged 19 years and older, to:
• use recreational cannabis in their unit or on common element space;
• grow up to four plants for recreational use per residence/unit (not per occupant).Condo owners have expressed concerns such as complaints about odours caused by plants and smoke, increased fire hazards, mold from excess humidity, increases in electricity & water usage cost and even raised insurance costs or cancellations.

Condos boards are however, permitted to regulate the consumption of cannabis in the following ways:
1. Amending the Declaration: requiring 80% of the owner’s support.
2. Enacting a Bylaw: focuses on governance of a condo
3. Adopting a Rule: deals with safety, security and preventing unreasonable interference with enjoyment of property

WHAT RULE WORKS BEST FOR YOUR COMMUNITY?
Consider the following questions:
1. What areas do you want to prohibit smoking?
• In units only?
• Balconies, patios and yards?
• Anywhere on the property?
2. Do you want or need to prohibit other methods of cannabis use such as vaping, which avoids the smoke and odour?
3. Do you really need to prohibit consumption of edibles?
4. Do you want to prohibit or allow the growing of plants?
Whether your corporation considers imposing a complete ban or a restriction on recreational cannabis use and growing, you will need to follow procedures to include your community in the decision.

ADOPTION OF A NEW RULE:

Condominium board of directors can make, amend or repeal a rule. Rules must be consistent with the Act and declaration. When changing rules, the board must:
1. Notify Owners about any changes they want to make before those changes become effective
2. Provide all owners with written notice of the rule at least 30 days before it becomes effective.
Owners who do not like the rule can act to change it or stop it from becoming effective by requesting an owners’ meeting with at least 15% of owners requisitioning that meeting. At the meeting, a majority of those present can vote against it.

Please note: medical cannabis is not affected by this legislation. Should a condominium corporation not accommodate use of cannabis for medical reasons authorized by a healthcare professional, the corporation may be subject to a human rights complaint. It is suggested you consult legal council.

If you enjoyed this blog, check out Is Condo Living Right for Me?