• Cannabis and Condominiums

    Posted on January 21, 2018 by in Condominium, MARK'S REMARKS

    Canada is proposing to legalise the growing, sale, use and possession of cannabis, supposedly in mid- 2018. Amendments to the Criminal Code are yet to be made by the Parliament of Canada. The management and regulation of cannabis use is to be downloaded to the provinces, municipalities, and condominium corporations.

    Alberta has (so far) decided to download the management of cannabis in condominiums to the corporations through their bylaws and boards. The proposed default position is that cannabis growing (within limits), use etc. is permitted unless a condominium corporation by bylaw decides otherwise.

    The ACT TO CONTROL AND REGULATE CANNABIS (Bill 26) amends the Gaming and Liquor Act which becomes the GAMING, LIQUOR AND CANNABIS ACT. It is of course convoluted and not easy to follow until the future consolidation is published, which will only happen after the amended Act is proclaimed. Much of the Act will be implemented by Regulation, yet to be written.

    In the meantime, the government initiated consultation and received feedback through the Alberta Cannabis Framework

    I sent a submission (Click on the filename at right to open it) Cannabis Submission to ACS 2017 10 11 which (in my opinion) dealt with matters relevant to condominiums, summarised as:

    a.    The decision of the federal government to permit the ownership and growing of cannabis in homes, under certain conditions, is fraught with ill-considered problems (see Sections 2.e. & following, in the full submission).

    b.    Section 3.  shows that there are many different forms of ‘home’. These require different approaches to regulation, management and policing. Attached condominium dwellings (apartments, town- or row-houses, semi-detached and duplex dwellings) all require special consideration because of their individual characteristics.

    c.    Single-family dwellings in a bare land condominium may be treated in the same way as free-hold, free-standing single family dwellings.

    d.    Sections 4 and 5 [of my submission] conclude and recommend that the use and growing of cannabis in multi-family attached condominium dwellings should not automatically be permitted. The owning, growing and use of cannabis in multi-family condominiums should not be permitted until and unless a condominium corporation passes an appropriate bylaw.

    Following submission (with many other people and organizations) I hoped to see recognition of the way that the governments’ proposals could affect condominium occupants. So far the Framework still seems to recognize only that “Renters, condo-dwellers and those who live in multi-family dwellings may be restricted from growing cannabis in their homes based on rules established in rental agreements or condominium bylaws. Government will work to educate landlords, renters and condo boards on the options available to them.” (Emphasis added) That is to say, no change…

    Recent experience with the Human Rights legislation in Alberta (in which the bylaws setting age limits in some condominiums were over-ridden) suggests the government will take a top-down approach to cannabis regulation. Probably it will continue with the philosophy that the growing and use of cannabis in condominiums is permitted until and unless bylaws expressly control and manage it. Condominium boards need to think about this now and get appropriate bylaws in place before the legislation decides what their position will be.

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