Real Estate

Cultivating cannabis: condo rules supersede legislation

By Staff

Growing weed at home may be legal under the Cannabis Act, but that doesn’t mean everyone can do it, especially those living in condos, Toronto condominium lawyer Deborah Howden tells NOW magazine.

Condo corporations have the power to create rules that prevent growers from “unreasonable interference with the use and enjoying of” an owner’s unit and the common elements in the building, says Howden, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP's Toronto office.

Across Toronto, hundreds of condo boards have already banned both smoking and growing cannabis over concerns around the smell and mould that could form when growing the plants, she says.

“It’s really not relevant whether the activity is legal because there are many activities that are legal that condo corporations may have a rule against,” Howden says. “Displaying advertising signs in your windows or having shaded window coverings of a certain colour is legal, but it may be against the rules of your corporation.”

Those who require cannabis for medical purposes may be exempt, however, as condo boards might be obligated to accommodate residents under the Human Rights Code, NOW reports.

Howden says many boards acted to change their rules in advance of legalization to avoid grandfathering, meaning those who were engaged in a legal activity prior to the rule change would be allowed to continue.

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