Smoking, Vaping and Marijuana – Allow It, Limit It or Prohibit It

June 2019

With marijuana legalized, condo communities are looking more closely at how this may be affecting residents.  Fortunately, most marijuana use concerns are the same as those relating to tobacco smoke and vaping.

There are no hard and fast rules about smoking in condo communities.  Some allow smoking anywhere.  Others choose to prohibit smoking.  Some communities only allow smoking within condo suites.

It falls on the condo board to decide which approach is best for their community.  If there is a need to revise governing documents, a vote of owners may be required.

As with cigarettes and cigars, marijuana smoke can escape from a condo suite into common areas or other suites where it becomes a nuisance to other residents.  Condo boards have an obligation to prevent this from occurring.  Communities that allow smoking will have to determine if current policies are appropriate in light of increased smoking resulting from legalization of marijuana.

There are three approaches to smoking, all of which are equally applicable to marijuana.

Allow It

Allowing the smoking of anything legal respects that individuals can do what they want in their home.  Problems arise when smoke or odour of any type escapes a suite and enters other suites or common areas.  Condo corporations or individual owners can be required to implement costly measures to prevent this from occurring.

Limit It

Allow smoking in parts of the community.  This may include individual suites, outdoor areas or designated smoking areas.  Some prefer specific limitations on marijuana smoking, which may not apply to cigarettes or vaping, because they believe it smells worse.

Second-hand smoke may infiltrate beyond designated areas.  Should this occur, the condo corporation or suite owners may be required to implement costly measures to eliminate the problem.

Prohibit It

Prohibiting smoking of any type anywhere in a community ensures nobody is bothered by second-hand smoke.  Since marijuana can be ingested using methods other than smoking, there should not be any concern about individuals with a medical need for it.






One management company surveyed its properties to better understand their approach to cannabis.  Their finding is that virtually all condo communities have discussed the matter with slightly more than 50 percent choosing not to do anything.

Graphs courtesy of CondoAdvisor, a condo-related blog by Ottawa-based lawyer Rod Escayola, which surveyed condo owners on their thoughts regarding regulation of marijuana (cannabis).  Nearly 80 percent of surveyed residents support a full ban with only 6 percent supporting unrestricted access.