What’s That Smell? – Keep Marijuana from Smelling Up your Home

December 2019

With cannabis (marijuana) now legal, condo communities must deal with that skunk-like smell many find offensive.  If you smoke cannabis in your unit or are affected by smoking in other units, there will likely be a need for someone to take action.  Smokers of cannabis initiating proactive measures to ensure odours don’t escape their unit are less likely to run afoul of condo community governing documents and be on the hook for cleanup costs.

There are three ways to deal with cannabis smoke and odour.

Block the smell

Close your windows if the smell wafts in from outside.  If the smell comes through vents or walls it may be necessary to open windows to air out the unit.  If the smell enters from the hallway consider placing a towel or other object under the door – although this can negatively affect the amount of fresh air entering your unit.  For those affected by the smoking of cannabis in other units and seeking a more permanent solution, contact management in writing.  They likely have the right to require cannabis smokers to comply with condo restrictions against odours and smoke leaving a unit.

Air fresheners are to be avoided.  They only mask the smell for a short period while adding chemicals to the air you breathe.


Activated charcoal and carbon filters absorb the smell of cannabis.  Products such as SmellRid can be purchased and placed throughout the unit.  The best location is as close to the source as possible.  While these can be used by those affected by cannabis smoke, they work best when used in units where cannabis is smoked.

Cannabis smokers can choose to craft a spoof, or home-made filter, to hide the smell of their cannabis smoke.  It can be made by stuffing dryer sheets into a cardboard tube such as a toilet paper roll or plastic bottle.  Exhaling smoke into the spoof where it is absorbed keeps others from being affected.

Heavy Cleaning of Walls and Furniture

Cannabis smoke leaves a residue on walls, furniture and building exteriors which can emit a foul smell long after the smoke is gone.  A professional cleaning service will likely be required to eliminate this residue and odour.

Building-wide solutions are preferable in that they can be more effective and economical than individual suites seeking to resolve these problems on their own.  Proactive solutions avoid management time dealing with frustrated and angry residents.