In case you didn't know, Cannabis legalization is less than 10 days away. Many Calgary Home owners, renters, and those in condominiums, are wondering how this will impact the Calgary Real Estate laws, insurance, and rights of landlords and tenants. 

Cannabis Legalization and Calgary Real Estate 

First things first, to dive a little into the boring side of it, Bill C-45 'the Cannabis Act' is scheduled to become in effect on October 17th, 2018. This will provide Canadians the ability to legally possess, grow, and consume cannabis for recreational purposes. Bill C-45 will provide the ability for provinces to create additional regulations, this includes real estate, and this is where we'll dive into the ramifications of legalization in the real estate industry. 
In anticipation of legalization, B.C. has passed legislation that (Bill 30) that regulates the possession, consumption, and cultivating of cannabis, and Bill 31 which covers the rules for distribution (retail mainly) 
In Alberta Bill 26 was passed, this bill amends the provinces Gaming and Liquor act, and covers everything, from consumption and possession to distribution. In Alberta, this will provide individuals the ability (aged 18 and older) to purchase and use cannabis, as well as allow individuals to grow up to four plants at home, and in public possession of up to 30 grams is legal. Local governments will be responsible for governing restrictions like smoking locations. In Bill 26 there is also guidance for landlords and condo boards on their obligations and rights. 

Cannabis use in Residential Tenancies (Impact of Cannabis Legalization for Renters) 

In Alberta, residential tenants will be governed by their residential tenancy agreements with their landlords, this means renters could face restrictions from growing and/or using cannabis in their residences depending on the agreement and rules set therein. 

In B.C. - Residents already in tenancy agreements will be restricted based on their current tenancy agreements, therefore those renters who have smoking disallowed on their agreements will not be allowed to consume cannabis in their homes, if you enter into a residential tenancy agreement after October 17th, landlords will be required to explicitly state the limitations of growing and smoking cannabis. 

Cannabis Regulations for Condominiums / Strata 

Alberta and B.C. have not made any changes or amendments to the strata property act, this essentially means that many condominiums will be free to self govern, and with that you'll have new bylaws imposed and voted on that regulate cannabis use in Calgary Condominiums. This will however likely become a sticking point, as medical use will most likely need special classifications, as with many new major technologies, law changes, etc the initial periods of legalization will most likely see a lot of ambiguity and periods for learning / governing. 

Medical Cannabis Restrictions and Calgary Real Estate Investor / Landlord Implications 

Presently medical cannabis is governed by the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) this legislation after October 17th will become repealed and Bill C-45 will come into law. What are the implications for Calgary Homeowners that are renting their properties and are looking to keep cannabis out of their homes? 

A Landlord, strata, or condominium board that attempts to restrict or prevent an individuals use of cannabis for medical purposes could find themselves violating the human rights codes and Canada's charter of rights and freedoms, on the other hand, the use of cannabis could be considered a nuisance to other tenants on leased homes and therefore could see irreconcilable differences. According to some law resources, recent reviews of this situation suggests that no smoking provisions will take precedent, and therefore those looking to consume cannabis for medical purposes will have to do so in non smoking methods.

Insurance Implications and Considerations for Cannabis Growth in Residential Calgary Real Estate Dwellings 

A recent court case and decision in Saskatchewan found that a policy was void and a landlord was not given an insurance payout for damages which were caused by a full fledged cannabis grow operation. In that situation the landlord was not aware of the grow-op and no permission was given. Many insurance policies specifically exclude and do not insure for production of cannabis, it's recommended that you discuss terms and conditions with your insurance provider on personal growth that is afforded by the new legislation (four plants) as those who decide to grow could potentially run into coverage issues with their insurance providers. 

Closing thoughts

While Cannabis legalization has been delayed and is finally coming into legislation, there are still some grey areas and it's important for consumers to stay on top of what will most likely be an evolving landscape. While personal growth in the home will not be classified as a grow operation, that doesn't mean that there couldn't be disclosures required in the future for home sellers, some landlords may face challenges with the evolving laws and their personal stances, condominiums will most likely see bylaws put into place that could potentially not sit well with owners. But ultimately, we want to hear from you (our readers) how do you see this changing, will it have any impact on you as a home owner, renter, condominium owner? Sound off in the comments below!

Posted by Calgary Homes Real Estate Partners Team on
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