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Getting ready for marijuana madness A cross-Canada primer on cannabis legislation While the federal government prepares to legalize recreational marijuana use this July (medical marijuana use has been legal since 2001), the provinces and territories are scrambling to come up with legislation that fits for their constituents. At the same time, apartment owners and their respective associations are lobbying their governments to enable them to prohibit or limit marijuana growing and use in rental units. There’s a lot of uncertainty about what will be allowed and what won’t be, particularly in rental properties. To follow is a summary of what you need to know about marijuana legislation by province and territory, which can differ from the federal legislation.

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British Columbia Provincial legislation is currently in place. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch will be the sole wholesaler. Retail sales of marijuana will occur through BC Liquor Stores (public subsidiaries) and private retailers. They cannot sell alcohol in the same establishment. Home growing of up to four cannabis plants per household will be generally allowed but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property. Landlords and strata councils (condominium boards) can restrict or prohibit home cultivation of recreational cannabis plants (medical marijuana users have the right to grow their own medicinal plants). On April 26 the BC government announced new legislation which will deem existing leases to prohibit the growing of cannabis. Smoking marijuana will be allowed in public spaces where tobacco use is already permitted. However, use of non-medical marijuana in areas with children, such as community beaches, parks and playgrounds, will be prohibited. The new legislation will deem existing leases with bans on smoking tobacco to ban cannabis smoking in rental units. In future leases and strata rules, landlords and strata councils can restrict or prohibit non-medical cannabis smoking at tenanted or strata properties.

Alberta Provincial legislation has been enacted. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 18 years, as it is with alcohol. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission will license retailers to sell cannabis and related paraphernalia; they cannot sell alcohol in the same establishment. The province will handle online sales.

Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Home cultivation of nonmedical cannabis is banned in properties that are used as daycares. No cannabis is allowed on hospital grounds, schools or anywhere that children gather, such as playgrounds, splash parks and sports fields. Landlords can use rental agreements to restrict or prohibit home cultivation of cannabis plants. Smoking marijuana will be allowed in private residences, as well as some public spaces where tobacco use is already permitted. It is banned anywhere that tobacco use is banned. Landlords have the right to restrict smoking (marijuana or tobacco) in their buildings, as long as the restrictions are imposed in their rental agreements.

Saskatchewan Provincial legislation is currently in place. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 18 years, as it is with alcohol. The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will license retailers to sell cannabis and related paraphernalia; they cannot sell alcohol in the same establishment. The province will handle online sales. Municipalities and First Nations can opt out of having cannabis sold within their jurisdiction. Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Landlords can use amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to restrict or prohibit home cultivation of cannabis plants. Smoking marijuana will be allowed in private residences. However, anyone who purchases non-medicinal marijuana must take it home immediately – they cannot (for example) go to the gas station or pick up their children at school first. Cannabis use is banned in public spaces, including schools and daycares. Landlords can use the amended legislation and tenancy agreements to either allow or ban smoking of marijuana in rental units.

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Manitoba Provincial legislation has not yet been enacted, but the policies have been announced. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, although it is 18 years for alcohol. The Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba (which will be renamed the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority) has licensed four private groups to sell cannabis online and in retail stores. All retailers must buy cannabis from the province’s Liquor and Lotteries Corporation. Until 2022, municipalities will have the right to allow a local vote on whether to allow marijuana sales. Home growing of marijuana is not allowed without a medical license, which applies to rental properties. There are no special rules for smoking marijuana in private residences. However, landlords can ban smoking of marijuana in rental units as part of the rental agreement (as with tobacco). Marijuana smoking is banned in most public places, which includes parks, bars, restaurant patios and beaches, as well as some indoor public places.

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Ontario Provincial legislation has been enacted. The minimum age for buying and consuming nonmedical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario) will operate its own stand-alone stores, and the province will oversee online sales. The province will delay opening stores in municipalities that object to having a retail outlet, although there is no veto in place. Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use. This currently includes rental properties. However, landlords may be able to prohibit the growing of recreational marijuana in rental properties through terms in their leases or amendments to their Rules and Regulations. Smoking marijuana for recreational purposes will be allowed in private residences. Landlords may be able to ban marijuana (and tobacco) use on rental properties. What rules landlords can make, and what rules they can enforce, will be decided through decisions at the Landlord and Tenant Board over the next several months and years. Recreational marijuana use is banned in public spaces and workplaces.


Quebec Provincial legislation has not yet been enacted, but the government’s policies are clear. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 18 years, as it is with alcohol. The Société Québécoise du Cannabis (which is a unit of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), which runs the province’s liquor stores) will manage all storefront sales; a provincial agency will manage online sales. Home growing of marijuana will not be permitted in any dwellings, so tenants cannot legally grow recreational marijuana in their units. Smoking marijuana will be allowed in public spaces where tobacco use is already permitted. It will also be allowed in all residences. However, apartments leases that prohibit tobacco smoking can also apply to smoking recreational marijuana, so landlords can ban marijuana smoking in their rental properties.

New Brunswick Provincial legislation has been enacted. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The New Brunswick Liquor Corp. will set up a network of stand-alone stores under the brand CannabisNB to sell cannabis and related products. Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. People who grow cannabis on private property must secure the operation, whether it is indoors or outdoors. Landlords can use the lease agreement to prohibit the growth of cannabis in rental properties. Smoking marijuana is banned in all public places, but it will be allowed in private

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residences. Cannabis stored in a private home must be in a locked container or locked room to ensure that it is kept away from minors. Landlords can use the lease to implement smoking restrictions in rental properties, which can include marijuana.

Nova Scotia Provincial legislation has now been enacted. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. proposes to sell cannabis in its existing retail outlets that sell alcohol, and will also handle online sales. Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. However, under new legislation enacted for this purpose, landlords can ban growing recreational marijuana in rental units, although they must give the tenants four months’ notice. When the landlord provides notice, the tenant has one month to give the landlord three months’ notice to terminate the lease. Home use of recreational marijuana will be permitted. However, landlords can amend their leases to ban the use of marijuana in units. Again, they must provide tenants with a four-month notice period.

Prince Edward Island Provincial legislation has been announced. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission will sell cannabis products in retail outlets, but not in stores that sell liquor. Its government online store will sell marijuana via Canada Post. Continued on page 22


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Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household, although it must be kept away from children. This includes rental properties. People will be allowed to smoke recreational marijuana in their private residences, and some designated spaces. It is illegal to smoke marijuana in public spaces, such as in or near playgrounds, publicly owned sport and recreation sites, public trails, and provincial parks and beaches (except within a rented campsite). Landlords can update their leases to ban smoking of recreational marijuana on their rental properties. However, if it was legal to smoke tobacco in rental units, then it will be legal to smoke recreational marijuana.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial legislation has been enacted. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. will oversee distribution and license the selling of cannabis through privately run retail outlets. There are plans to allow private stores to sell cannabis products. Home growing of recreational marijuana is not allowed. People will be allowed to consume marijuana products on private residences and in their private homes only (no public consumption). There are no restrictions on people living in rental properties.

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Northwest Territories Territorial legislation has not yet been enacted, but the government’s plan is in place. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The N.W.T. Liquor Commission will handle the sale of cannabis through its liquor stores or through an online mail service. Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Smoking marijuana will be allowed in private residences. However, landlords can choose to allow, restrict or ban the growing and smoking of marijuana in their rental properties.

Yukon Territorial legislation has not yet been enacted, but the government’s plan is in place. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The Yukon Liquor Board will handle the sale of cannabis through its liquor stores and will sell online as well. However, it might offer a mix of public and private outlets in the future. Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Smoking marijuana will be allowed in private residences. However, landlords can choose to restrict the smoking of marijuana in rental units.


Nunavut

Conclusion

Territorial legislation has been announced. The minimum age for buying and consuming non-medical marijuana will be 19 years, as it is with alcohol. The Nunavut Liquor Commission will sell cannabis via online sales.

While some decisions have been made on marijuana legislation, there are many issues that remain in limbo. How the legislation affects landlords and tenants is also up in the air, and can change over time. Make sure that you are informed so that you can make the best decisions for your tenants and properties. Contact your local landlord association to keep abreast of provincial rules, and get involved in the process to lobby your provincial or territorial government to ensure that your rights are protected.

Home growing of marijuana is allowed. Adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Home cultivation of non-medical cannabis is banned in properties that are used as daycares. Landlords can restrict the growth and consumption of recreational marijuana on their properties.

By David Gargaro

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RHB Magazine May 2018 - Cannabis Legislation  

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RHB Magazine May 2018 - Cannabis Legislation  

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