Can my Strata Corporation legally ban cannabis?

This is a question that all Strata Corporations and Strata Management Companies should be asking themselves right now if they aren’t already.

Can my strata ban marijuana?

With the new Federal legislation for the legalization of recreational weed taking place this upcoming 0ctober 2018, does your strata building have a plan to deal with what’s coming?

The short answer is yes, your strata corporation can create a bylaw that bans all forms of smoking, but it get’s quite a bit more complicated than this. The standard strata bylaws have a nuisance bylaw which can prevent smoking on common property or in an individual strata lot. You also have the right to create a strata bylaw which bans all forms of smoking, whether it’s weed, tobacco, etc.

Can my strata ban medical cannabis?

The grey area here is going to be medical marijuana. Even though the smoke and smell may be causing a nuisance to the neighbours, is the bylaw enforceable if the smoker has a medical prescription and needs this for their health? This remains to be seen.

What you can’t do, is ban the consumption of cannabis, if it’s not causing a nuisance. Edibles such as gummies, cookies, etc. would fall under this category.

What about growing cannabis in my strata lot?

As far as the growing of marijuana, this is where things are going to get sticky. You are not allowed to enforce bylaws that contravene the BC Human rights code, so even bylaws that outright ban growing may end up being unenforceable down the road if challenged in higher courts.

For now, I think it’s safe to say that all strata corporation’s should be creating solid bylaws to protect themselves. If not, you’re opening yourself and your building up to potential major issues down the road. This legislation can and will likely change, but we recommend that you get ahead of the curve.

Contact us here if you would like to discuss anything to do with strata management.

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