New federal and provincial legislation will take effect on October 17, 2018 to legalize the possession/use/production of cannabis for recreational purposes in private residences.
As part of the Condominium Authority of Ontario’s (CAO) mandate to provide general information on emerging issues that affect condominium communities across Ontario, the following is an overview of Ontario’s cannabis legalization framework and options available to condominium corporations under the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Act).
Once proclaimed, Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017 will allow condominium occupants, aged 19 years and older, to:
The Cannabis Act, 2017 strictly prohibits, under Section 11 (2) (d), the smoking of cannabis in any indoor common area of a condominium, including parking garages, party or entertainment rooms, laundry facilities, lobbies and exercise areas.
Please note: medical cannabis is not affected by this legislation. Should a condominium corporation not accommodate use of cannabis for medical reasons authorized by a healthcare professional, the corporation may be subject to a human rights complaint.
Should a condominium corporation decide to further manage the use/production of recreational cannabis, the approach would be similar to how corporations already manage other issues, such as those related to tobacco smoking or service animals.
Under the Act, options available to condominium corporations to manage recreational use/production of cannabis include: amending the declaration or making/amending a rule. Many corporations may prefer the ease of making or amending a rule over amending the declaration. For more information on amending the declaration, please see section 107 of the Act.
A condominium board is allowed under section 58 of the Act to make, amend or repeal a rule that is reasonable and consistent with the Act, declaration, and by-laws to:
Rules may apply to the individual units as well as the condominium’s common elements, including exclusive-use common elements such as balconies.
Notice of a proposed new or amended rule must be given to the owners of the corporation and must include:
e) A copy of section 46 and section 58 of the Act, which details how an owner may requisition a meeting of owners and the requirements to create rules.
The effective date of the proposed rule must be at least 30 days after the notice was given. However, this date is also subject to section 58 (7) and section 58 (8) of the Act.
Section 58 (7) of the Act specifies that:
Section 58 (8) of the Act specifies that:
Section 46 of the Act sets out the requirements for requisitioning and holding a meeting of owners. The following provides a general overview of these processes.
To discuss or challenge a proposed rule, a requisition signed by owners representing at least 15% of voting units must be delivered within the 30-day notice period, and:
To hold a vote at a meeting of the owners, at least 25% of the corporation’s voting units must be represented at the meeting in person or by proxy. This is called quorum. If quorum is not met, or the vote is in favour of the proposed rule, then the proposed rule can take effect on the later of the end of the meeting or the effective date outlined in the notice of proposed rule to the owners. If the vote is against the proposed rule, then the rule, as written, will not take effect.
For more information:
For more information on cannabis issues in condominiums, including an overview of the legal considerations and possible solutions, please visit our Cannabis Common Issues page.