By Martin Rumack

Oct. 17 is right around the corner. When that date arrives, it will usher in a profound change in Canada, because it marks the point that smoking cannabis will be legal. Under the federal Cannabis Act, Canadians will be legally permitted to buy, possess, use and share up to 30 grams of cannabis, and to grow up to four marijuana plants at home.

But what condo owners and tenants may not realize is that the right to use cannabis is not unrestricted. The legalization of marijuana does not give people free rein to smoke just anywhere they like.



Instead, condo owners and tenants can still be subject to non-smoking rules, which are designed to protect fellow owners and residents from being subjected to unwanted second-hand smoke of all types.

In Ontario, these are customarily embedded in the rules and declarations published by the condominium corporation as part of the corporate structuring set out in Ontario’s Condominium Act, 1997. Under that act, condo corporations are entitled to make these rules to “promote the safety, security and welfare” of the owners and property, and to prevent the “unreasonable interference with the enjoyment” of the units and common elements.

When properly enacted, reasonable in scope and regularly enforced, these rules can legally prohibit any kind of smoking in common areas. (They may even ban smoking in the units themselves, although this can be a contentious issue: Some owners dispute that their condo corporation’s ban on smoking in units is needed to prevent “unreasonable interference with enjoyment”, or to promote owners’ “safety, security and welfare”).

From an enforcing perspective, there is really no distinction between tobacco smoking and marijuana smoking. Any rule that tries to differentiate between them, by banning marijuana smoking but not tobacco smoking, would likely not pass the test of “reasonableness” that the act requires. Residents are likely to find either kind of second-hand smoke equally offensive. Condo corporations may want to “cover all bets” by enacting separate rules to cover marijuana specifically or may want to shore up existing no-smoking bans to mention that marijuana is included.

For a condo corporation to validly pass these kinds of rules in the first place, it must alert the owners and requisition a meeting, as the legislation requires. Owners can veto a proposed rule if at least 25 per cent of them attend the meeting and vote against it.

Even if validly passed, a smoking ban can still be challenged by owners on the basis that it is unreasonable – meaning that it does not have a rational or logical basis. Alternatively, it can also be challenged on human rights grounds, since under the provincial legislation a condominium corporation may have a duty to accommodate a proven disability on the part of an owner. At least theoretically, this means that in some cases a condo corporation may have to tolerate medical marijuana use among its unit-owners.

Even though passing of the Cannabis Act will mark some significant changes in Canada surrounding the use and availability of marijuana, from the standpoint of a condo corporation’s ability to pass valid non-smoking rules for its owners and tenants, there may be very little change.

Otherwise-valid rules that ban smoking by condo owners and tenants will not be illegal. The usual processes governing owners’ ability to veto new rules and challenge them on certain grounds will still apply.

Indeed, what many condo corporations have done in recent months is to hasten their efforts to pass condo rules that prohibit all smoking inside units, on balconies or in common areas.  Others have added rules to ban the cultivation of cannabis, to circumvent the four-plant individual allowance that the Cannabis Act includes or have included provisions that restrict a building’s concierge to accept marijuana deliveries on behalf of residents, as a means of limiting corporate liability. But in order to be in place for the Oct. 17 enactment of the cannabis law, the deadline for initiating these bans was Aug. 13.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of smoking cannabis – use/buy it in food, candies, pills, liquid, etc., then there is no second hand smell or smoke.

    • Yes Linda, but you will still have second-hand stupidity, laziness, general apathy, and most important, long-term damage to developing teen-age brains. And yes, according to a recent Manitoba study, pot use ‘does’ lead to the development of harder drug use as the pot buzz wears off for many pot heads.

      We don’t need any more pot heads becoming M.P.’s and Prime Ministers. We are well on our way down the slippery slope toward a drug-infused society. Now we have alcoholism ‘and’ drug-associated problems to deal with within our relationships, workplace cultures, on-the-road carnage and overdose-related visits to the emergency departments of hospitals everywhere.

      I heard that Paraguay or Peru—not sure which one—is the other country to make recreational pot use legal. Try to cross the border to the US as a pot head and see what happens.

      But now it’s all legal here. What a ridiculous joke.

      There is an old saying within the political realm: “In a democracy, you get the government that you deserve.”

      You may deserve this current government, but I don’t. I prefer to keep my brain functioning as it was intended; clear and without the dumbing-down effects of drugs of any kind. We did not evolve as a species as drug addicts, but we certainly are on the road to the extinction of 24/7 clear-headed thinking by more and more of our dumb-ass members of a pampered society.

  2. Brian Martindale: This forum is for the benefit of professionals who wish to respond or post discussions to important issues which are pertaining to our industry. If you wish to vent or run for public office I would suggest that you do it on your own time. Bashing the current government is sounding a tad whinny. I would also prefer that you keep your frustrations to yourself as they would seem to mostly be your problem, I also don’t pull any punches. Your issues/frustrations are all in all, your problem. Finally I’d like to ask if you’ve ever consumed alcohol, (which I would deem to be a much bigger problem than the one the we seem to be discussing at this time), and if you do, do so I would suggest that “PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN TIN SHACKS SHOULDN’T THROW CAN OPENERS”. Pot is here to stay and I believe that you should deal with it, whichever government, or popular public consensus was the vehicle for it’s introduction. Suck it up buttercup.

    • Dear Hall Monitor:

      This forum is for anyone who wishes to chime in on current issues whether tethered to a real estate salesperson license or not. For the record: I am a happily retired Realtor as of Dec. 2011. Take your censorship issues and stuff ’em. Jim the-editor-guy decides whose words appear herein, or not.

      Run for public office? Knocked that off of my bucket list a few years ago. Spent $1.95 on my campaign (had to open a trust account for donations which I refused to take), attended no all-candidates’ meetings, answered some media questions here and there, and garnered 398 votes. That’s about $0.02 spent per vote, which made me the most efficient vote getter, probably of all time. Had a blast doing it, just like I have a blast drawing in hall monitors like you and Kirk.

      Frustrations? The only one who’s frustrated is you, methinks. I do this stuff for fun amigo. Call me the real estate troll who gets to the hall monitors of the world, if you will. Been doing it herein since 2008. You had better call Jim the-editor-guy and file a complaint. (I do sometimes write serious stuff, believe it or not)

      Yes, I have consumed alcohol now and again, usually at a family dinner, maybe seven or eight times a year, drinking no more than a small glass of wine. Bet you smoke more than seven or eight joints a year if you need to escape reality on a regular basis via being a pot head. If you don’t imbibe you might just be a dude who really does need to take a pill and chill out. I relax by having fun writing this crap.

      Love your “Tin shacks…” saying though. What do you live in, a concrete bunker with rubber inner walls?

      By the way, are you related to the Gerken pickle people? If so I think that you might have one firmly jammed where the sun don’t shine. That might explain your anal approach to everything that you think is wrong with free speech.

      Yes, pot might just be here to stay, because pot heads usually get hooked whilst enjoying the numbskull days of youth when brains are still developing and when the future consequences of their current actions/behaviours are but a distant hoped-for development contingent upon becoming a mature adult with a forwarding thinking brain…and not being stuck at the fourteen-year-old stage of a teacher’s pet hall monitor.

      Staying off topic for just a bit longer: Are you aware the The Rolling Stones are the ugliest band members of all time? Keith Richards’ face looks like an old dried-out toad’s scrotum with a pair of squinty, sunken eyes that look like they are peering out of two piss-holes in a snow bank. Drugs you know, usually starting off with pot.

      Like I said in a previous post, were I still a Realtor I would advise my clients to stay the hell away from buying a pot head’s residence. Stigma is real…and it costs money.

      Buck it up futtercup.

  3. BEFORE vote there were 5 letters 1. STATING that cannabis smoke would render smoke detectors useless 2 another that CO2 units would become useless.3. that your walls would develop SPORS from the plants and make their way into other units. 4 That leaves warmed on stove top would create a fire. NO CANNABIS FIRE YET, fire DEPT.
    5 from HALTON HEALTH smoke was unhealthy. Denied BY HALTON HEALTH , THIS WAS NEVER STATED. All 5 alarmed all the little old ladies because they were visited by the BOARD president . WHO BEDLEIVED ALL THE bullshit.

    • Roy:

      Little old ladies’ opinions count just as much as yours dude, and so do their votes. Why should they have to breathe in your second-hand filth and off-the-end-of-your-joint’s brain altering crud as it wafts through the common air circulation system? Not everyone wants to descend into drug-induced la-la land to escape reality dude.

      You should not write this stuff while buzzed dude. SPORS is spelled spores. BEDLEIVED is spelled believed. ‘bullshit’ should be capitalized…for proper effect dude.

      BTW, the board president is equally responsible for non potheads’ concerns too…dude. Put that in your pipe and smoke it…dude, and then run for president.

      BTW X 2: Make sure to inform your insurance company that you smoke and grow pot in your residence and that you might forget that you might sometimes be stoned when you get behind the wheel. May your insurance premiums go higher and higher, much as your short-tern drug-induced gratification monitor does.

      Question: What would you do whilst stoned that you would ordinarily not do when clear-headed…when your inhibitions—thus, your super-ego’s governing principles/dictates—were not blocked out? I guess you have to be stoned to answer that question…right?

  4. REM really needs to control the tone and quality of the comments made on this and any other site that permits commentary. I suggest that any comment that would be considered dubious in conversation with a client should be unwelcome here.
    I don’t smoke tobacco. Some of my clients do. My opinion of that legal activity is entirely irrelevant to the duties of agency that are entered in to when I do my job for those clients.
    A REALTORS opinion of any legal activity is entirely irrelevant to this conversation. The conversation is about how to deal with new legislation and avoid giving poor advice to our clients. Stick to the topic and share what moves the topic forward.

    • Bill:

      So you are for politically correct censorship? Whose version of political correctness do you subscribe to? Apparently, Jim the-editor-guy does not share your concerns to the degree that you want him to.

      The ‘topic’ seems to me to be how to properly shut the barn door after the horses have escaped.

      My comments herein are not offered in conversation with a client; they are simply my opinions. I am a very happily retired Realtor, for the record. I guess that frees me up to express my opinions via my inferior tone and poor quality logic according to your claimed superior tone and logic.

      Thanks for offering your opinion though.

      BTW, a recent poll in the USA reveals that 80% of Americans polled believe that political correctness has gone too far and is now regarded as an impediment to free speech. Free speech allows for the expression of freedom of thought. Freedom of thought allows for the antidote to indoctrination. ‘Nuff said methinks.

      BTW X 2: Were I still a practicing Realtor I would flat out advise my clients to stay the hell away from buying a former pot smoker’s residence and/or grow-op. How the hell will the police enforce the four-plants-per-residence rule? Who will know if it’s four plants, three plants or ten plants? It’s all BULL SHIT! (Whoops; effiin’ hell, I said it again)

      BTW X 3: This forum ain’t just for Realtors bud; even folks like me—whom are unlike you, hallway monitors—can express their opinions herein. Hooray for free speech and for Jim the-editor-guy.

      Light one up dude (you said you don’t smoke tobacco, but pot maybe, which would explain your shorts being in a knot?) and zone out in your cloud of stench, but don’t get behind the wheel. Impaired is impaired…legally speaking.

  5. Every single bird, reptile, bug and mammal on the face of this earth…except for many dumb-ass humans looking to avoid reality and venture into alternate ‘cool man’ unrealities…avoids inhaling smoke for fun of any kind, because…it is damaging to lungs, brain cells (if said dumb-ass humans have any to spare in the first place) and general health and psychological well-being over both the short term and long term. Animals, birds, bugs and reptiles seem to instinctively avoid doing things that are not in their best interests regarding survival. But then again, they are not protected from themselves by dumb-ass politicians like the man-child Justin Trudeau who smoked pot—but did not inhale—ROTFL!—whilst preparing himself for his pre ordained trip to the Prime Minister’s office. The man-child born to wealth with nothing in his work resume except: part-time ‘substitute’ drama teacher and one term as an M.P. with a silver spoon firmly entrenched in his vacuous mouth, believes that it is destiny that put him where he currently is. In touch with the average working man/woman of this country that he claims to understand? BULL SHIT! He is only in touch with his own kind…the political class on the left who view themselves as members of the natural governing party, or, as I like to call them, members of the naturally disconnected-from-reality party artificially high on themselves.

    Whenever I see a dumb-ass human smoking anything of any kind, I inwardly express my disdain for his/her weak and now-addicted mind and think prejudicially, “What a f—–g idiot!”. (I pull no punches)

    We’ve got a f——g idiot currently running this country. Ergo, we have an idiotic habitual dumb-ass human behaviour that is about to become enshrined in law.

    Need pot for pain control? See your doctor…and don’t lie about how bad the pain is.

    By the way, in many instances pain is actually a good thing; it is a survival thing that has kept smart people from making the same mistakes twice.

    There is an old saying; “People learn from their mistakes; smart people learn from others” mistakes.”

    Here is a new saying: “Dumb-asses think that there are no mistakes, thus, they keep on making them, oblivious to what the future consequences might be as the result of their current actions/behaviours.

    One of their dumb-ass consequences was voting for the man-child, and now we have a situation brewing regarding how many of us non dumb-ass humans have to breathe this sickening stench into our lungs previously uncontaminated with second-hand and first-hand garbage.

    What a joke.

  6. Under the Cannnabis Act you can have up to 30 grams in PUBLIC. There is no limit to how much Cannabis you can have in your home.

    • REM and cannibis conversations…

      CP24 article – https://www.cp24.com/mobile/news/half-of-canadian-homeowners-say-cannabis-use-will-hurt-property-values-poll-1.4136376

      My question… How can buyer agents produce selected properties to show and politically, or perhaps legally, correctly answer questions about the subject properties having been chosen either by the agent or the would-be buyer. Agents need to perhaps engage in caution about making helpful listings-to-show selections?

      Will MLS listings be required to have the seller verify and certify that any listed property has or has not been used for “growing.” Even for personal use (largely due to the mold spores opportunity?). And, if they have any knowledge about such, in regard to their neighbours’ dwellings?

      And how about a “neighbour” check??? Do people want to live next door to “Growers?” and the guests or neighbour visitors frequenting the neighbour property?

      Kind of goes back to the 60’s in Toronto where homeowners could drink beer in their own homes, but were not permitted to drink beer in their specific backyards, for personal consumption or certainly not supplying for backyard guests’ enjoyment. Neighbours were encouraged to report. I’ve spoken of this in REM comments years ago.

      If a neighbour reported a neighbour, the police would have to attend at the premises, make a report and a warning would be issued and the address occupant noted on record. Hard to imagine for some, but true.

      There’s nothing else to be said except it’s a new runaway train topic?

      It seems plausible to take into consideration that it wasn’t till the early 70’s that cooking with spirits began to be talked about out in the open, by (female) home cooks.

      Of course fine restaurants were preparing their dishes using a multitude of “spirits especially chosen,” following the career paths of their overseas colleagues. And the habit of serving matching drinking “meal-spirits” to guests and even family began to be discussed and written about “out in the open.” Folks, we’re not talking prohibition days; but certainly closely akin. In the 60’s. In Canada.

      The Italian immigrants seemed to have started a particular trend upon their mass arrivals in the 60’s. They encouraged their small children to sip. It often proved difficult as locals didn’t let their children imbibe.

      If a female preparing spirit-engaged meals needed to buy the liquor, she had to have a male attend at the liquor store or raid her spouse’s liquor cabinet. It was otherwise considered classless to have been seen in such places, and at an earlier time, actually illegal. And orders had to be placed at an “in” counter like at a pharmacy for prescriptions, and the product collected at a different counter, having been sorted by an inside, unseen team.

      Round about 1970 I was invited to attend a fine hotel wine tasting formal event hosted by an importer (offering a few hotel prepared hors d’ouvres, where I was introduced to products I still use today (those that haven’t been delisted).

      My first endeavour cooking with spirits was preparing sautéed boneless skinless chicken breasts, deglazing the pan with a 90-proof product not available on the open market here, brought as a gift.

      Since I didn’t drink as such, I thought this a possible way to use the product. Seems like only yesterday. But indeed it was the early 70’s. And as a result I was considered a sort of renegade home cook. Friends and colleagues couldn’t believe, but appreciated what came out of my kitchen. Yet I was in my forties before I ever had a one ounce sip of beer. And decided to make my first delicious beer batter recipe.

      But it was in the early 70’s that I began soaking fruits in spirits, starting with plumping up raisins in dark rum, another importer gift, from Jamaica, a proof so high not available in Canada (don’t light a match near the bottle) to add to my old recipe for Boston Brown Bread (baked in metal Maxwell House coffee tins).

      Of course I had to bake separate tins for my children and hide the spirited ones. Then came my fruit cakes where I decided to use spirit plumped fruits. As I had gradually gotten further interested in French and German and Dutch and Italian cooking, I experimented in my own kitchen. I developed a particularly sensitive palate, and could often identify ingredients, including unusual herbs, spices, and spirits, in restaurant dishes, often to the surprise of others at the table. (I would have perhaps made a good sniffer airport dog.)

      This became a valuable situation for me as I tried to replicate dishes I discovered I enjoyed. My sensitive tastebuds delivered and one by one I wrote my old newspaper columns about my kitchen experiences developing my private original recipes that many people enjoyed.

      But like in real estate, I thought everyone was doing what I was doing. I just thought perhaps I was new to the idea. Being a voracious reader and experimenter as I was in real estate, I learned as I went along.

      But neighbours certainly didn’t care what was in the food I shared, even so I had to get a male to make the spirits purchases initially way back when. Even when eventually legally allowed, I was concerned to be seen in the retail store by real estate clients. If I went out to dinner and knew I might have a half-glass of wine, I initially always made sure our reservations, even with a group of long-time friends, were not local.

      Going to Quebec was often interesting; patrons sometimes brought their own wine to the family-style restaurants. A whole different cultural experience.

      I’ve never imbibed in the drug scene in any way, shape, or form, but am drastically affected by the skunk like odour that seems to take on a life of its own, causing dry or burning throat and nasal tissue, and won’t hang my coat near its use. (Mostly people don’t talk about this. I can’t be the only person so affected.)

      So that brings me to the topic of close encounters, not unlike an abundance of cigarette stench or even some perfumes. (Doctors and dentists forbidden to use must be for a reason?) Travelling in close quarters in planes, and cars of other people. Thus I am always a driver.

      I’ve been particularly fortunate in air cabin travel. But can’t help but wonder how this new smoke odour will inhabit the clothes of fellow next to me, travellers. Bad body odour in the unwashed is in the same description.

      Will the new and approved situation require special delineated areas aboard flights and ocean liners? (At the Captain’s Table?) Due to close encounters of a new kind? And how will some of us (not) enjoy the new fragrance of porters and pilots and stews serving us on board? It gets in the hair, the skin, and clothing, and even if not having imbibed in recent hours, staff will be on duty.

      In real estate there are many as yet unaccounted for situations we are likely to hear about (how about at the real estate office?) … Will home inspections reveal unwanted or disputed findings? enabling consummated APS contracts to be voided rather than close? And the effects of a string of attached transactions? Or is it all much a-do about nothing.

      The urea formaldehyde properties subject of the 80s, sold and after exchanging hands a few times were no longer questioned as to history related (even if removed).

      Carolyne L 🍁

  7. IMHO Dougie s/have dictated that this Stinkweed can only be used “wherever alcohol can be legally consumed” instead of “wherever cigarettes can be consumed” . ie not strolling down a public street nor in a public park …

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