B.C. landlords want to weed out pot smoking in rentals

Jessica Kerr - Vancouver Courier

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The association representing owners and managers of rental housing in the province would like to see smoking marijuana prohibited anywhere that smoking tobacco is banned.

LandlordBC would like to see the province give landlords the ability to ban the recreational smoking and growing of marijuana in rental housing.

“We are concerned about the negative impact the consumption and growing of recreational marijuana will have on… rental housing and, especially concerned about the negative impact within multi-unit residential buildings,” says a submission to the Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat of B.C. The secretariat was established to coordinate the development of a provincial regulatory framework around the impending legalization of marijuana.

LandLordBC, which is the professional industry association representing owners and managers of rental housing in the province, made the submission in November.

While the federal government is responsible for overseeing production and manufacturing, and setting industry-wide rules and standards, the provinces and territories are responsible for regulating sales and distribution and will determine where cannabis can be consumed.

The association also notes its concerns extend to basement suites and rented single-family homes.

The group said it would like to see smoking marijuana prohibited anywhere that smoking tobacco is banned, as well as giving landlords the ability ban the smoking of both substances. In B.C., aside from some restrictions around grandfathering, landlords do have the ability to ban smoking in rental buildings. As well, smoking is banned in common areas of multi-unit buildings.

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The association also has concerns about the effects growing marijuana in rentals.

A federal task force on cannabis legalization has recommended that residents be allowed to have up to four plants of up to one metre in height be allowed in all households.

LandlordBC’s submission outlines how the group finds the recommendation “problematic.” The group’s concerns include: the smell; excessive humidity resulting in mould and damage to window frames and walls, as well as creating a health hazard; excessive power demands on the building; and, the potential liability for landlords and risks to tenants and mortgage holders.

“Due to all of those problems, LandlordBC urges the BC government to prohibit all marijuana growing in multi-unit dwelling, and in rented dwellings of any form or size (including outer buildings and in open air gardens).”

The federal government is set to legalize marijuana this July.

Last month, the province announced that the BC Liquor Distribution Branch will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis, in addition to new rules that buyers and consumers of recreational marijuana must be at least 19 years old, similar to current laws around alcohol and tobacco.

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LandlordBC’s submission was among 141 the government received, in addition to hearing from 48,951 British Columbians online and over the phone.

jkerr@vancourier.com
@JessicaEKerr

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