Cannabis & Condos

Cannabis & Condos

By Condo Culture

Hi CC Followers, There’s no doubt that the legalization of cannabis is a hot topic right now, with more questions than clarity. We’ll try to set the record straight for Ontario condo owners & renters.

New federal and provincial legislation came into effect on October 17, 2018 to legalize the possession/use/production of cannabis for recreational purposes in private residences. Does that mean you can grow and use cannabis legally in your condo unit? There’s a little more to it than that.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act

Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2017), resident’s are prohibited to smoke (tobacco, cannabis, anything...) in any indoor common area of a condominium, including parking garages, party or entertainment rooms, laundry facilities, lobbies and exercise areas. There are loopholes though, for example, medical cannabis is not affected by this legislation. What’s that you say? Vaping doesn’t produce smoke? While that may be correct, the proposed expansion of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, would also prohibit the use of an e-cigarette, and thus the vaping of cannabis would be prohibited in the same places where the smoking of tobacco is currently prohibited.

OK, so can I smoke freely in my Condo Unit?

That depends.

First off, some condominiums have enforced a smoke-free policy. These typically tend to be newer construction buildings - think 2010 onwards. If you live in one of those buildings, I’m sorry my friends, smoke is smoke, and you would not be permitted to smoke cannabis whatsoever within your unit, your building, or anywhere on its premises.

Older buildings that do not have a smoke-free policy (though we advise that you always ask). If it is the case that your building doesn’t have a smoke-free policy, the same rules and regulations that apply to tobacco use would apply to cannabis use. You would be restricted to us within the walls of your unit only.

It is extremely difficult under existing condo legislation to have a building made smoke-free. This is because more than 80% of the residents would need to approve this change. And, since non-smoke-free buildings are the only place where smokers (tobacco and cannabis alike) are permitted to smoke, tobacco and cannabis users tend to flock to them, making any proposed smoke-free legislation a non-starter.

With the legalization of cannabis, we’re seeing more developers adopting the Smoke-Free policy.

I own a condo but I rent it out - What do I have to do?

You are required to provide your tenant a copy of the condominium corporation’s declaration, by-laws and rules to the lessee. Beyond that, you’re responsible to take all reasonable steps to ensure that tenant and all guests comply with the condominium corporation’s declaration, by-laws and rules, in addition to the Act.

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