Article by Andrea Woo, The Globe and Mail
Federal legislation to legalize recreational marijuana is expected to allow Canadians to grow up to four plants at home, but B.C. landlords – wary of safety hazards, damage and liability – hope to nip those concerns in the bud by adding restrictions into rental agreements on grow-ops.
Ottawa signalled this weekend that it expects to introduce legislation before April 20 – a day cannabis is celebrated around the world – and the recreational use of the drug would reportedly be legalized by July 1, 2018. A federal task force struck to inform the government’s approach to legalization made 80 recommendations, including that Canadians be allowed to grow up to four plants per residence.
But B.C. landlords say that growing marijuana – particularly in a multiunit building – carries more risks than smoking it. Potential dangers include fire hazards from high-wattage lamps; mould growth from higher temperatures and humidity; and offensive smells, particularly during the flowering and drying phases.
David Hutniak, chief executive of the advocacy group Landlord BC, said such issues could result in the cancellation of a building’s insurance or the pulling of its mortgage.
It’s already become a source of conflict for medical-marijuana patients, who aren’t required to inform their landlords that they are licensed by Health Canada to grow their own cannabis. About 30,000 people across Canada currently have permits to grow marijuana for medical use.
Mr. Hutniak thinks landlords will have more flexibility when it comes to recreational marijuana.