What Does Cannabis Legalization Mean for Landlords & Tenants?

Marijuana leaves on the table

The legalization of non-medical cannabis in Canada is set to happen on October 17. The shift brings good news to recreational users as well as to businesses in Canada that spend money on wholesale supplies for their dispensaries. But those in the business of renting or leasing are a little apprehensive about the change.

Landlords are seeking the support of provincial governments to legislate a ban on weed use in rental properties, or at least, allow them to include restrictions on agreements. Residential property owners are anxious about the safety and possible damage that may occur if their tenants grow and smoke weed in their units.

Using Weed in Rental Units

Landlords don’t want their tenants to smoke weed in their unit because they worry that the smoke and smell from the plant could spread throughout the building, which tends to happen in older properties. This can affect other tenants who don’t want to smoke.

Residential property owners also expressed concern about the resources required to grow weed indoors. David Hutniak, head of Landlords B.C. said in an interview that growing marijuana will use a lot of electricity. The required humidity levels are also likely to damage walls, which could mean costs for landlords whose properties are in provinces that keep them from asking for damage deposits from tenants.

Each province can structure its framework regarding the distribution and selling of recreational cannabis as well as setting rules for landlords on controlling cannabis use in their properties. Provinces can add restrictions, such as increasing the minimum age, limiting where people can use cannabis, and setting further requirements on personal cultivation.

The Cannabis Control Licensing Act (CCLA)

The Cannabis Control Licensing Act (CCLA) of British Columbia regulates the use and sale of weed. It prohibits cannabis smoking and vaping in places where children usually gather, including playgrounds, skate parks, and sports fields. It also sets 19 as the minimum age to purchase, sell, or consume weed.

The act allows adults to carry not more than 30 grams of pot in a public place. But it prohibits its use in school properties and in vehicles.

In relation to landlords’ concerns, the CCLA includes consequential amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act. It states that smoking cannabis is not allowed under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco. The act prohibits personal cultivation of weed, as well, unless it’s federally authorized medical marijuana.

Will the Restrictions be Effective?

While landlords can exercise some control over tenants from smoking and growing weed in their units, a CBC report, citing an opinion from a Vancouver lawyer, says that this action could make things worse for them.

Instead of an outright ban, it might be ideal if landlords have a shared space for cultivation in underground parking or outside the establishment. This could prevent tenants from secretly growing their cannabis.

As a tenant, you may want to talk to your landlord about smoking weed. Your landlord can discuss with you the building’s policy so you can avoid breaking these rules.

Smoking, however, is not the only way you can use recreational cannabis. There are other options to enjoy the benefits of marijuana, including the use of oil or edible products, like chocolate bars, cookies, and gummies.

WBUD offers alternatives to smoking through our edibles. We have brownies, cookies, and gummies with sativa or indica. Our products are 100 percent premium and organic, giving you multiple ways to enjoy weed.

Contact us today.

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