By Lift & Co.
Canadians of legal age can buy recreational cannabis freely as of Oct. 17, but don’t expect to be inundated by thick clouds of smoke in parks, playgrounds, and parking lots – in general, smoking cannabis in public will remain illegal across the country. But before kicking back and lighting up some Blue Dream on the balcony, here’s what homeowners, landlords and renters need to know about consuming and growing recreational cannabis at home.
Smoking Cannabis at Home
Due to strict laws in most provinces and territories, smoking cannabis at home might be one of the few legal options for many people. Overall, homeowners will have it the easiest: With some exceptions, it will illegal to smoke recreational cannabis everywhere except private property and/or residences in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
Other provinces and territories, such as Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia, and Nunavut, will ban cannabis consumption in the same places smoking tobacco is prohibited. Of course, each province and territory has its own exceptions. In Quebec, for example, smoking cannabis won’t be allowed on university or CEGEP campuses – so no sparking up a strain between classes or in dorm rooms. Alberta, Nova Scotia, and B.C. won’t allow smoking in cars.
It’s a little different for condominium dwellers – even if they own the unit. In condo-heavy cities like Toronto and Vancouver, provincial laws will allow condo bylaws to set rules around cannabis consumption for renters and owners alike.
Similarly, most provinces and territories will give landlords the discretion to ban smoking cannabis on rental properties and inside units. In Nova Scotia, B.C., and Quebec, that includes altering existing leases.
Growing Cannabis at Home
Under the federal Cannabis Act, Canadians will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per household. But as with consumption, local laws may pose restrictions on the number of plants allowed, where they can be displayed, and the types of dwellings where they can be grown – especially if minors are around. In Quebec, Manitoba, and Nunavut, home cultivation will be banned all together. In B.C. and Yukon, plants must be kept out of public view.
As with smoking, condo boards and landlords may include restrictions in bylaws and leases around growing cannabis plants.
Related Read: What Legal Pot Means for Renters and Condo Owners
One of the biggest implications for home growing is home insurance. Along with taking into account a home’s location, pipes, electric wiring, and roof, consumers can expect questions from insurers about growing cannabis plants when applying for coverage. A lone plant by the window won’t necessarily affect coverage, but any extra lights or growing-related modifications to a dwelling could factor into insurance premiums – not to mention electricity bills. Some things are best left to the country’s licensed producers.
The Bottom Line
With a patchwork of laws across the country, each province and territory will have its own rules, exceptions and loopholes around consuming and growing recreational cannabis at home. To stay on the right side of the law – and on the good side of neighbours, a condo board or landlord, or home insurer – Canadians should make sure they’re educated on the developing local and provincial rules ahead of legalization in October.
Lift & Co. helps Canadians explore, understand and make better-informed decisions around cannabis.