With the recent changes to the medical marijuana regulations, condo owners may now be allowed to grow a limited amount of marijuana in their condo, with proper authorization. The new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations ( found here ) allow authorized individuals to grow a limited amount of marijuana for their personal use or to have someone do the growing on their behalf. There are specific requirements to help maintain safety and security of patients, growers, and communities. Patients are also required to follow provincial/territorial and municipal laws, including zoning, electrical safety, fire safety, and inspection requirements. If any of these requirements are not followed, the patient would be in violation of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.
With more awareness surrounding the changes regarding medical marijuana, there may be implications for condo units. Authorized patients who need marijuana for medical reasons may have the right to grow a limited amount of plants for their own use in their unit. Condo corporations may not be able to prevent this and under human rights laws, this may be considered an accommodation. However, it can be regulated by the condominium rules.
It is recommended that corporations consider passing a rule indicating:
“Only registered patients (persons with an established marijuana license) may grow marijuana. The growing of marijuana must comply with all applicable condominium, municipal, and federal regulations. The growing of marijuana also must not cause any harm to the property or any disturbance to other persons. The grower must advise the corporation of the cultivation, and the corporation may access the unit at any reasonable time, on reasonable notice, to inspect the growing of marijuana for compliance with federal regulations and condominium rules.”
Depending on if humidity levels pose a concern in the building, it may be possible to add a rule prohibiting all plant growing, including marijuana, in the units, depending on the specific case.
Other issues that need to be considered include increased energy and water consumption for growing these plants, which typically require special lighting. For example, if a unit owner has a disproportionate amount of lighting usage to his or her allotted share of common expenses, excess electricity charges may be able to be recovered from the unit owner. Smoking in a unit, including marijuana, also poses another issue. A condominium that is completely smoke free should ensure the language in the rules also covers marijuana smoke. However, depending on the case, someone who uses medical marijuana as a medical need may still have the right to smoke, unless their need for medical marijuana can be satisfied by other less noxious forms of marijuana, such as pills or oils.
All of these considerations are important to look at when updating the rules of your condominium. It is important to seek legal advice from a trusted lawyer when making any of these changes, especially when human rights issues are involved.
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