Pot and Condos: Communicating out of a stink

by | Condo & HOA Focused, Director, Governance

What is the stink about pot?

Pot certainly has a distinctive odour, but it’s not the smell that is causing a stink; it’s the legalization of it. Pot (or cannabis) is now legal in Canada, and where it has already been legalized in many US states, it has caused some friction among residents.

Whether you agree with the decision to legalize cannabis or not, the government has approved it and changes have come.

Why this matters

If you live in a condo in Canada or you are a condo board director and haven’t been paying attention to the legalization of cannabis, then now is the time to start. The transition to living life with legal pot has already started.

How we got here

Smoking pot illegally is nothing new, so why is legal pot going to create more friction with residents?

In Canada, under the Cannabis Act, the law prohibits smoking pot in public spaces, restaurants, places of work, or public parks. Smoking will be allowed at a private residence including the outdoor space of a home (for example, a porch or backyard). Four plants can be grown per residence (and not per person). There are much more specifics so check them out (link at the end of blog).

Smoking pot at a condo property will be highly restricted. Residents are not allowed to smoke marijuana on balconies, back patios or other common areas.

Are smells a concern?

Smoking pot indoors should be of concern for condo residents because smells can move between units via common hallways or ventilation systems. Most people smoke tobacco cigarettes outside; pot smokers will only be allowed to smoke indoors.

Condominium Corporations can restrict residents smoking habits by enacting rules that prohibit smoking inside a unit and can also prohibit growing plants.

Now is the time to review the condo’s rules and add rules that are appropriate for your condo. We’re in for some stinky times as the transition to legal cannabis takes place this summer unless the condo board is prepared and communicates any new rules with residents.

Some Advice

*This article was revised in January 2020*