Whether you’re fond of Mary Jane or not, on October 17, 2018 Canadians 19 yrs and older will be able to legally smoke marijuana. Bill C-34 and Bill 174 address the possession, growth, sale and marketing, sponsorship, packaging and penalties associated with the use of marijuana. Adults will be able to legally possess 30 g or 1 ounce at any time. There will be a restriction of four plants per residence. Edible products won’t be available until 2019. But how does all this affect me as a home owner? There are developments happening daily but here is what we know so far.
Will Smoking Marijuana be Allowed in Condo Buildings?
Condominiums have a board of directors as well as a set of bylaws that owners and renters must abide by. Many condos in the city have already pushed for a smoke-free building which prohibits smoking any substance in the units and all common areas. I think we’re going to see more and more buildings push for a smoke free environment to address this issue.
In the absence of a smoke free by-law, all condominiums have a ‘nuisance’ by-law. So if you end up with that one neighbour that rivals Cheech and Chong, you still have some recourse.
Will my Home Insurance Rise?
As a freehold home owner, banks require us to purchase home insurance on a property whenever there is a Mortgage involved. There are still many uncertainties surrounding how these home insurance policies will be affected. At minimum, be prepared to be asked if you smoke or grow the plant in your home. We could argue that it should be seen as on par with home beer brewing or growing a lush home garden. My hope is that the stigma regarding grow-op houses begins to fade, making it easier to finance and insure a home where plants were previously grown.
Property Values-Will They Plummet?
Once again, time will tell if home prices are affected after this legalization. I don’t think this will impact our real estate values. When Colorado legalized marijuana, they had some communities experience an increase in prices of 20% that could be directly related to people flocking to those communities. However, the difference with us is that our entire country is legalizing it, not just certain provinces. No need for the ‘Jones’ to move from Manitoba to Ontario to reap this benefit.
What Landlords Need To Know
If you’re a landlord be sure to familiarize yourself regarding the new rules. And keep checking back, as there are ongoing developments. However, what is known is, Ontario has decided to treat the smoking of marijuana similar to the smoking of cigarettes. Landlords will not be able to discriminate against tenants that chose to smoke in their rented unit (just like they’re currently not suppose to discriminate against cigarette smokers). Unlike Quebec, which has decided to take a stricter path and so far has some of the tightest rules around marijuana and its use. In Quebec landlords have to right to ban tenants from smoking and growing marijuana in the rental home. With our new PC Provincial government, you can expect Ontario to take a less strict approach.