BC’s cannabis regulations give local governments the power to control cannabis in their jurisdictions, and even landlords and strata councils are getting the authority to ban smoking and growing on their premises.

With legalization months away, smoking and growing cannabis in your home, apartment, or condo will be a big issue, especially in rental properties and multi-family complexes. Lawyers and condo associations in Alberta are already recommending that landlords and strata councils start prohibiting smoking and growing cannabis on their premises before it’s legalized.

Condos are also being warned that if they mishandle medical cannabis issues they could face Human Rights challenges on disability grounds.

Across the country, buildings are already implementing new rules. In Ontario, a condo board in Ottawa banned smoking in December 2017 in anticipation of cannabis legalization, and residents can only grow cannabis if they have a doctor’s prescription for medical cannabis.

As the president of North Alberta’s chapter of the Canadian Condominium Institute told CBC, “Some condo boards already have smoke-free regulations, but most buildings allow owners to smoke in their own units.”

Is this too much power for landlords and strata councils?

Will leaving the decision on cannabis up to local governments, landlords, and strata councils only further complicate things by adding level upon level of bylaws to regulations that already vary from province to province? Wouldn’t this also create an even greater enforcement headache, not to mention considerable confusion for consumers?

Especially in a city like Vancouver where 43% of the population are renters and a housing vacancy rate that hovers between 0-1%, you could argue these new rules give landlords and strata too much power in one of Canada’s most expensive housing markets.

If cannabis is banned at home and banned in public places, with no consumption lounges in the foreseeable future, has the weed really been freed? The short answer is no, and so the fight against Prohibition continues.


Photo courtesy of Corporate Stays.