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September 19, 2018 | Reefer madness

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

In less than a month a lot of amateur landlords have something other than lousy tenants, vacancies, rent control, bed bugs, condo fees, pets, negative cash flow and people peeing off the balcony to worry about. Weed. It’s coming.

Condo boards across the country, but especially in the urban forests of YVR and the GTA, have been trying to figure out how to deal with a potentially explosive situation. Lawyers are making nice coin drafting new rules and regs that condominium corporations hope will stand up to legal challenges. After all, it’s one thing for the T2 gang to decriminalize the possession and use of cannabis, but it’s another thing entirely when it comes to the impact on residential real estate.

For example, in Ontario the “Cannabis Act, 2017” allows condo occupants who are 19 years or older to (a) grow recreational cannabis in their unit or common element space and (b) grow up to four plants for recreational use per residence or unit (not per occupant, and (c) legally consume cannabis in their residences, just like alcohol.

What a nightmare.

Imagine thousands of condo units where bathrooms or laundry closets are turned into mini weed rooms, using grow tents, grow boxes, special lights and irrigation equipment. Just what high-rise bugs and bacteria and mold love – hot and wet places where the sun never shines. The potential damage to condo units is unknown, and scary. And yet, it’s kosher.

In order to squash the legality of personal grow-ops, condo boards have to draft rules, pass them in a specific fashion, notify all owners then wait for 30 days before they take effect. This week was a big one, therefore. This is the kind of notice just received by thousands of condo dwellers and investors:

No person shall produce, cultivate, grow, tend or harvest any marijuana within a unit or upon the common elements. b) No person shall consume any marijuana, unless the person is a registered medical marijuana consumer pursuant to the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. A registered patient entitled to consume marijuana within a unit pursuant to a doctor’s prescription based upon medical need and bearing a current government-issued medical marijuana card registered with management shall be accorded special accommodation arrangements, subject to compliance with all governing laws. Notwithstanding Article A 11 hereof, the medical marijuana user shall undertake such modifications to the Occupant’s unit as Management may deem necessary in order to prevent transfer of smoke and odours beyond the unit before usage commences (including any modifications to the mechanical system and installation of any smoke/odour filtering mechanisms as may be appropriate). c) No person using medical marijuana in accordance with this Rule shall cause any nuisance, harm or health hazard to any person or to the unit, other units or the common elements and assets of the Corporation and shall not permit any escape or transmission of nuisance smoke or odour derived from marijuana to emanate from the unit or cause any other consequential nuisance or disturbance to any other Occupant at the Corporation. In the event an Occupant of any another unit complains about escape or transmission of nuisance smoke or odour emanating from the unit, until the Owner of the unit and its Occupant comply with the Rectify Unit Smoke & Nuisance Rule A 11 by sealing and rectifying any leak within the unit and by precluding any nuisance transmission accordingly; until then, no person in the unit shall smoke any marijuana (but may choose to consume edible marijuana to the extent such consumption is not illegal). d) The Corporation’s Representatives may enter a unit wherein it is expected that marijuana is being cultivated or exists, in accordance with s. 19 of the Act and after knocking loudly three times, at any reasonable time during daylight hours, to observe compliance with this Rule and to ensure that no risk of harm, damage, nuisance or disturbance is posed to any person or property.

Some condo corps are also making smoking or vaping in all forms illegal within units, even in buildings where smoking is not permitted. Existing owners are may be ‘grandfathered’ and may have to register as smokers with the condo board. If they sell, that unit is no longer exempt – and becomes a smoke-free space. And weed stinks. Seriously. Try getting that out of the paint in your rental unit.

But while proactive, well-funded condo boards are preparing for the chaos that might ensue after October 17th, most buildings will just roll into the cannabis age with no change. Smelly weed smokers, cannabis cooks, amateur pot farmers and tool-challenged moisters trying to hook up high-wattage lights and irrigation systems in the loo are special little problems society will have to deal with. And good luck trying to evict any loser who’s turning your unit into a ganja den.

Why we needed another way to get stupid is beyond the ken of this pathetic blog. Maybe it’s so nobody notices NAFTA. That would make sense.

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September 19th, 2018

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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