As of October 17, 2018, recreational marijuana will be legal across Canada. TheCannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA) will officially come into effect, which amends the Residential Tenancy Act to include a section on residential tenancy agreements and their terms on smoking and growing marijuana in rental properties. Here is how the new legislation will affect landlords and tenants in BC.
For any tenancy agreements entered into before the date of legalization that prohibit or limit smoking tobacco, the same terms apply to smoking marijuana. If however, the agreement either does not address smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana will be considered to be allowed. It is important to note that vaping is not considered to be the same as smoking so the ban or limitation on smoking does not automatically extend to vaping.
All tenancy agreements entered into before the date of legalization will be deemed to prohibit growing cannabis except if it is federally authorized for medical purposes and is not contrary to a term in the agreement.
If you are a landlord that will be entering into a tenancy agreement and you wish to prohibit all smoking or vaping, ensure that your agreement is specifically worded to prohibit smoking and vaping tobacco, cannabis (including medical cannabis), and any other combustible materials.
Although federal law will allow Canadians to grow up to 4 plants in their homes, landlords entering into tenancy agreements after October 17 can ban it in their tenancy agreements. If you wish to do so, ensure that your agreement specifically prohibits "growing, cultivating, propagating, or harvesting of cannabis (including medical cannabis)" and "growing, cultivating, propagating, or harvesting of any hydroponic (water based) plant (including without limitation cannabis and medical cannabis)."
For more information on the provincial regulatory framework on recreational marijuana, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/public-safety/cannabis. For further information on insurance and risk management for property owners and managers, contact a CapriCMW Risk Advisor.