Condominiums and the Legalization of Cannabis

On October 17, 2018, cannabis will be legalized across Canada. The Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act was passed on June 1, 2018, to legalize the sale and use of cannabis in the NWT. Some provisions of that Act came into effect on June 1st, including an amendment adding a new section 7.1 to the Condominium Act, which sets out rules for condominium corporations, owners and tenants relating to the smoking and cultivation of cannabis.

Smoking Cannabis in Units and Common Elements Condominium corporations have the ability to make bylaws to protect the health and safety of their residents and to protect their common property, as long as the bylaws do not conflict with federal or territorial laws.
If your corporation has existing bylaws made before June 1, 2018 that restricts the smoking of tobacco, then that same restriction also applies to the smoking of cannabis. If condominium corporations wish to have this restriction in place in the future, then the bylaws should be amended to expressly prohibit the smoking of cannabis in addition to tobacco. Bylaws may ban smoking in all or part of the building for example, in units, common areas, outdoor balconies and patios.

Growing Cannabis in Units Under the Federal Cannabis Act, adults will be able to grow up to four plants at their place of residence for personal use. There cannot be more than four plants – no matter how many adults live in the home. If condominium corporations wish to prohibit or otherwise restrict (e.g. permit two plants only) the cultivation of cannabis in the units, they can amend the bylaws to provide for the prohibition or restriction.

Medical Cannabis Generally, the same prohibitions and rules that apply to recreational cannabis users will also apply to medical cannabis users. Owners and tenants who have a prescription for medical cannabis and who live in smoke-free buildings should explore mutually agreeable options with the condominium corporation.

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