Prior to the Cannabis Act, which was enacted on October 17, 2018, people from every walk of life had an opinion on how marijuana legalization was going to change the country’s social, economic, and political landscape. Many people feared chaos, fiery car crashes, and a significant drop in worker productivity. Others rejoiced. A lot of us didn’t know what to expect. But for those of us who expected the worst, we were left scratching our heads on October 18th when, to our surprise, nothing had really changed. People still showed up for work. There was no car accident spike. And cannabis sales sky-rocketed.

As you’re probably aware, legislation surrounding marijuana use isn’t completely mapped out. We’re in a growing period, testing what works, tweaking things here and there. As such, many agencies and private companies have yet to iron out their own kinks, especially when it comes to smoking cannabis in public and private places. Whether you’re for or against the use of cannabis in private dwellings, here are the limitations according to the law.

Smoking Cigarettes: A Framework

For a quick reference, assume that cannabis smokers have the same restrictions as cigarette smokers in condo buildings. While common areas, such as hallways, elevators, billiard rooms, and gyms are generally smoke-free, cigarette smokers have more freedom to smoke inside their unit. And unless you’re planning on living in one of Toronto’s few completely smoke-free condo buildings, your neighbours might be smokers.

Living in Single-Unit Family Homes

For families living in detached dwellings, there are no restrictions other than Canadian law, which allows adults to:

  • purchase limited amounts of fresh cannabis, dried cannabis, cannabis oil, etc. from retailers authorized by the provinces and territories
  • possess up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis or equivalent in non-dried form in public;
  • consume cannabis in locations authorized by local jurisdictions;
  • grow up to four cannabis plants per household (not per person) for personal use, from licensed seeds or seedlings from licensed suppliers;
  • share up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent with other adults;
  • make legal cannabis-containing products at home, such as food and drinks, provided that dangerous organic solvents are not used in making them.

We strongly recommend, however, that you avoid smoking cigarettes and cannabis inside your home, as this can cause damage to your home, lower your property value, and make it unappealing for potential buyers to visit.

Is It Possible to Ban Cannabis Consumption in Condo Buildings?

The short answer is “yes.” But it might not always be necessary. Luxury condos aren’t immune to the Cannabis Act. Whether you’re living in a downtown rental or a North York condo, you might still get a whiff of that tell-tale marijuana smell. Condo boards can address these issues on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the resident responsible for the smell takes better care not to allow it to reach the common areas.

But some condo buildings are more interested in enacting a zero-tolerance policy on marijuana under the auspices of Section 58 of the Condominium Act, which states:

(1) The board may make, amend or repeal rules under this section respecting the use of the units, the common elements or the assets, if any, of the corporation to,

(a) promote the safety, security or welfare of the owners and of the property and the assets, if any, of the corporation; or

(b) prevent unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of the units, the common elements or the assets, if any, of the corporation. 2015, c. 28, Sched. 1, s. 54 (1).

What Can You Do as a Potential Buyer?

Whether or not you support cannabis use, you should always be wary when buying a home where the previous owners have smoked cigarettes or marijuana inside. Both can leave sticky and foul-smelling oils on your walls and ceiling that are hard to remove without damaging the surfaces, not to mention the odour that is almost impossible to eliminate completely. Here are some signs that a house was used as a growing operation:

  • Mould in corners of walls
  • Fresh paint on window sills (to cover signs of moisture damage)
  • Modified wiring in the household
  • More than one or two roof vents

Buying a home or condo in the GTA? Susan Macarz can help! As a long-time Real Estate Broker in the Toronto luxury housing market, Susan has helped many homeowners buy the property of their dreams and sell their homes at their highest value. She’ll help you navigate the complexities of homeownership and understand the ins and outs of condo regulations. Contact Susan today!