Condo Communities Unprepared for Cannabis Legislation

January 2019

Businesses, industries and associations have prepared for the legalization of cannabis (marijuana). Many have implemented policies to protect operations, employees and customers from employees attempting to use cannabis at the workplace or showing up potentially impaired.

Toronto police have banned all its employees from using recreational cannabis within 28 days of reporting for duty. The policy has been implemented to ensure both a safe workplace and safe community. Research shows that the active ingredient in cannabis can be stored in the body and impact on cognitive abilities, motor functions and decision-making abilities for this length of time.

Calgary police has announced a complete ban on recreational cannabis use by officers qualified to carry firearms and who may be operationally deployed. Transport Canada’s policy for pilots is that any TCH, the active ingredient in cannabis, found in a pilot’s bloodstream will result in immediate suspension of flight privileges until such time as the TCH is flushed from his or her system.

Landlords, large and small, are prohibiting smoking and growing cannabis on their properties.

While many professionals advising condo boards recommended an absolute ban on smoking and/or vaping on condo property, prior to the October 17, 2018 deadline when smoking of marijuana became legal, most condo boards seem to have taken a “wait and see” approach or opted for something less than revision of their by-laws or declaration to support any prohibition.

Informal surveys show a majority of condo owners wanting their boards to regulate marijuana use and growth. The number of condo boards implementing regulations restricting the growth and use of marijuana is unclear. They seem to range from 15 to 40 percent.

Condo corporations that have chosen not to regulate marijuana use and growth, and those failing to address it in their by-laws or declaration, could find courts unsympathetic when those choosing to smoke or grow cannabis in condo communities cause problems for other residents or damage common areas.