With cannabis now legal across the country, it represents a foundational shift in Canadian drug policy that will have trickle-down effects on many aspects of Canadians’ lives, including real estate- and cannabis legalization and property values are more connected than you think.

Have you ever considered how cannabis legalization would affect the value of your home?

One of the standout issues in Bill C-45, aka the Cannabis Act, is home cultivation. While the federal legislation allows you to grow up to 4 cannabis plants at home, there are a number of restrictions which vary across the country depending on the province or territory you live.

For example, Manitoba and Quebec are banning home cultivation altogether while in BC, your homegrown cannabis plants cannot be visible from the outside.

If you rent, you could face additional restrictions (up to a ban on smoking and growing cannabis at home) depending on the agreement with your landlord.

Zoocasa, a Canadian real estate website, surveyed 1,300 Canadians on issues like smoking and growing cannabis at home, living near legal cannabis retailers, and the rights of landlords and renters with regard to cannabis.

High Level Findings

The report found that:

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o   15% of all respondents indicated they would consider in-home cannabis cultivation

o   52% of respondents say they’d be less likely to consider specific homes for sale if they knew even a legal amount of cannabis had been grown in them

o   Over half of homeowners – 57% – felt that growing even the legal amount of cannabis (up to four plants under the Cannabis Act), would have a negative impact on a home’s value. 26 per cent disagree and 18 per cent were neutral.

o   61% of Canadians agree residents should not be able to smoke cannabis within their units

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The Generation Gap

Overall, the study found that the younger the generation, the more open they are to cannabis.

o   “52% of respondents said they’d be less likely to consider specific houses for sale if they knew even a legal amount of cannabis had been grown in them.”

But to millennials, it wasn’t that big of a deal- 62% of millennials said it wouldn’t reduce their desire to buy the property. It was the complete opposite for Gen Xers and Boomers with 58% and 59%, respectively, saying it would be a problem for them.

When it comes to living near a dispensary, just under a third of millennials felt that property values would be negatively affected compared to 50% of Gen Xers and 47% of Boomers, according to the report.

Home Cultivation

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It also seems like there is a lingering stigma about growing cannabis at home, which stems from the negative coverage of “grow-ops” that were reported in the media from the 90’s until now, as the study found that:

o  52% of respondents say they’d be less likely to consider specific homes for sale if they knew even a legal amount of cannabis had been grown in them

But 4 plants do not equal a grow-op, and some feel that real estate organizations are fearmongering and blowing the whole issue of growing at home out of proportion, especially considering that Canadians are only allowed to grow a max of 4 plants.

As Mike Dixon, an environmental science professor and director of the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility at the University of Guelph, told CBC:

“The history [of home damage] has been based on grow-ops, where you’re growing hundreds of plants and producing hundreds of litres of water. With four plants? Nah.”

The full report from Zoocasa is available here.

 

Images used in this article courtesy of Zoocasa.

Sources

CBC: Will it damage my home and other questions about growing legal cannabis

Government of BC: Cannabis.

Vancouver Sun: BC Supreme Court orders Zoocasa to pay $32,000 to real estate agents for breaching web site’s terms of use.

Zoocasa: A Joint Issue: How Canadian Homeowners and Renters Really Feel About Legal Cannabis [REPORT].