Pot and Condos: Communicating out of a stink


What is the stink about pot?

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

Whether you agree with the legalization of cannabis is irrelevant because the decision to legalize pot has been made.

Why this matters

If you live in a condo in Canada, you should be paying attention. If you are a condo board director, you should be paying even more attention. The legalization of cannabis will soon be a reality and the transition to legal pot will go more smoothly for condos if preparations are made now rather than waiting until later.

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 many more specifics so check them out (link at the end of blog).

Smoking pot at a condo will be restricted further as smoking on common elements areas such as balconies or back patios will not be allowed.

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

  • Attend an educational session to learn more about cannabis and condos.
  • Review relevant legislation.
  • Encourage your condo board to review and implement any new rules as needed, if this process has not already started.
  • Consult with the condo’s legal advisors. Get advice on drafting the right rules for cannabis.
  • Be proactive. Don’t wait.
  • Condo Boards – Communicate with residents