As of October 17, 2018, the recreational use and cultivation of Cannabis in British Columbia will take effect.
The big question is, do you know how it can or could affect you?
Being a REALTOR® extraordinaire, I wanted to be sure to make sure anyone with interest as a property owner is perfectly aware of how this legalization will impact their ownership of real estate. To make it simple, this blog is divided into 3 easy to read sections.
- What the average person should know
- What Property owners need to know
- What Landlords and Tenants need to know
So, let's get started
- You must be 19 years of age to purchase or consume cannabis. Pretty straightforward, yeah?
- An adult can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place. I envision being in the digital electronic scale business will be lucrative in the next few months.
- Cannabis smoking and vaping is prohibited everywhere tobacco smoking, and vaping is prohibited, as well as at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks, and other places where children commonly gather
- Vaping is not necessarily considered the same as smoking in terms of the law. Confusing right?
- Don’t drive or be silly while impaired (if that is your scene)
- If you live in a strata, check with your management company or council. Rules for growth and consumption of cannabis will vary from building to building, so do your homework
For Property Owners
- You can grow up to 4 plants in your home, but you probably shouldn’t. This is perhaps the number 1 point I want to make sure to bring home for everyone. As of the writing of this blog, the real estate industry, the lending industry and the insurance industry seem very unclear about how they are individually going to approach this new world with legal cannabis, and herein lies the problem. Growing marijuana in your home could be considered a Material Latent Defect (MLD) which is recommended to be disclosed by a home seller to a potential buyer as it ‘may’ encourage health issues within a home. Choosing to grow marijuana in your home could cause the loss of value due to the creation of an MLD, create insurmountable financing obstacles for a buyer to achieve financing on purchasing your home and even void your mortgage agreement and insurance. My advice, wait until the industry(s) figure out this new world and reality out, don’t be a pioneer here, its not worth the risk.
- If you choose to grow, consider doing it outside rather than inside your home. Again, we are a little unsure about how this could affect the point above, however seems to be a little more reasonable, as it is outside the home. Who knows…
- Adults are authorized to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces of the property, and home cultivation will be banned in homes used as day-cares
For Landlords and Tenants
- If your lease says no smoking, that also now carries over to cannabis consumption. Thank goodness
- There are situations where human rights laws may make it unlawful to end a tenancy because the tenant is growing or using marijuana in their unit.
- If you currently can’t smoke in your unit, you can't smoke marijuana. If a residential tenancy agreement is entered into before the date on which the CCLA comes into effect, and the tenancy agreement includes a term that prohibits or limits smoking tobacco, the tenancy agreement is deemed to include a condition that prohibits or restricts smoking cannabis in the same manner. If a tenancy agreement is silent on smoking tobacco or has a clause that allows smoking tobacco, the agreement will not prohibit the smoking of cannabis. HOWEVER, vaporizing (vaping) a substance containing marijuana is not smoking cannabis for the purpose of the subsection.
- If you enter into a new tenancy agreement, be prepared. After the CCLA comes into effect, if landlords want to prohibit the smoking or growing of marijuana, their residential tenancy agreements should similarly include terms prohibiting the smoking or growing of marijuana.
- A tenant is assumed not to be allowed to grow cannabis in a previously signed agreement, unless… A residential tenancy agreement entered into before the date on which the CCLA comes into effect is deemed to include a term that prohibits growing cannabis plants in or on the residential property unless on the day before the date on which the CCLA comes into effect:
(a) the tenant is growing in or on the residential property one or more cannabis plants that are medical cannabis,
(b) growing the plants is not contrary to a term of the tenancy agreement, and
(c) the tenant is authorized under applicable federal law to grow the plants in or on the residential property, and the tenant is in compliance with the requirements under that law with respect to the medical cannabis
- Landlords should conduct inspections of their rental units, within reason. Not being engaged in the safety and value of your asset is a poor excuse
- Speak with your tenants prior to or as soon as possible once legislation comes in. No fault of their own, tenants may be unaware of any restrictions on growing or consuming marijuana once it becomes ‘legal.’ Be a good landlord and property owner, and get ahead of any potential problems
- Review your tenancy agreement. Make sure you remember what was agreed to in the first place.
I hope this helps many of you clear some cobwebs towards the legalization of cannabis growth and consumption in BC. I have done my very best to research the issues I deem as most important, as well as give you the most accurate information available. Of course, however, this is not advice to be deemed reliable, you have a responsibility to do your own investigations. To make life a little easier, I have listed my sources for this information below with the intention of getting accurate information, with the best sources always being any government or affiliated website.
If you found this information helpful, please share it with others! My goal is to make sure my clients and everyone we all care about is not hurt by the new changes to the cultivation and consumption of cannabis.
With love, respect and regard,
Macdonald Realty LTD