As recreational marijuana is set to be legalized across Canada as of July 1, 2018, landlords are fighting for the right to prohibit smoking and growing marijuana in rental units. According to proposed federal legislation, Canadians will be legally permitted to possess and smoke cannabis in their homes and may grow up to four plants for personal use.
Individual provinces and territories will be responsible for regulating the sale and distribution of cannabis along with determining where it can be consumed. In BC, landlords are calling for the provincial government to follow the lead of Quebec and ban growing in private homes for recreational use. LandlordBC, a professional association that represents owners and managers of rental housing, is lobbying for provincial legislation to ban smoking cannabis in rental housing altogether.
The concerns raised by LandlordBC for smoking and growing cannabis in rental housing, particularly in multi-unit residential buildings, include:
- risk of mould and structural damage from high humidity and modified electrical wiring
- use of hazardous chemicals such as pesticides inside units
- strong odours affecting neighbouring units and residents
- liability for the landlords
- cancellation of building insurance
The Government of BC announced in December plans for legalization including:
- a minimum age for consumption of 19
- sales to be allowed through private and public retail stores
- wholesale distribution to be run by the government's Liquor Distribution Branch
The government has yet to release its plans for regulating consumption and growth for recreational users.