Growing Pains: Condominium Legislation Smoking Out Cannabis Law in Edmonton

The announcement of reformed cannabis legalization has put the entire country in a tizzy. Still, there are further-reaching implications of this legislation than the surface appeal of some to smoke up anywhere they go legally. How, if ever, does this legislation affect those who own, or plan to own, condominiums in the Edmonton community?

We must first consider two major legs to this issue – the growing aspect and the smoking aspect. There doesn’t seem to be much to discuss regarding the growing of the plants, which we will legally be able to do, up to a maximum of four. No different than typical houseplants, correct? Not so much. Growing marijuana plants in your condo might seem harmless. Still, it raises concerns about whether or not the distinctive smell infringes upon the Alberta Human Rights Act in the disturbance that it causes to the neighbouring condo units. While most current bylaws don’t explicitly prohibit the growing of cannabis, provisions within insurance policies do. It is a common language in condominium insurance policies that coverage is null and void if you are found to have a grow op, voicing the verbiage that current bylaws haven’t yet stated.

The next leg concerns the actual smoking of the marijuana itself. Many condominium bylaws already prohibit the smoking of tobacco products inside their units and on common property. For the most part, there is no reason to believe that marijuana would have its own set of rules by which we must abide. Condominiums that wish to allow marijuana smoking but not tobacco smoking, or vice versa, would have to have their bylaws amended to allow this, which doesn’t seem to be in the works.

To further unravel this ball of yarn, we must consider those who smoke marijuana for medical purposes. While some might stand up and say that it is their human right to smoke marijuana and that bylaws should be amended to enable such because they have a medical reason for needing to do so, there are many options that they may exercise without causing discomfort to their neighbours. There is no compelling reason for a person requiring marijuana for medical purposes not to smoke off-premises or to consume their medication in edible form or through a vaping device.

Once analyzed and compared with current condominium legislation, the long and short of this new legislation abolishes the notion that Edmonton is headed for a free-for-all cannabis craze. There is no reason for prospective condo owners to turn away from the idea of buying as bylaws currently in place will deter any uncomfortable living situations. So, buy away! But be sure to contact Peter B. Mason and his 5 legal teams to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for.