cannabis plant close up with periodic table

Understanding Marijuana Madness for Condo Dwellers

On October 17th, 2018 the Federal government legalized recreational cannabis use. On that same day, Ontario adopted Bill 36, which modified the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Some of the changes will have a direct and significant affect on condos across Ontario.

In Ontario, you can essentially smoke cannabis anywhere you can smoke tobacco, except in vehicles. Unless a condo corporation has adopted a rule restricting the consumption of cannabis, as far as the province is concerned, a condo dweller may smoke cannabis anywhere they can smoke tobacco, including on balconies of units.

The Calgary Herald reported,

A ban on marijuana consumption in most rental units along with a city-imposed prohibition in public leaves pot-using tenants in limbo. Concerns over mould and fire hazards resulting from the use of powerful grow lights have cultivated fear among property owners.

It is possible that marijuana will be used or grown in a unit or on a balcony of multi-unit buildings. Regardless of the laws and/or bans that will come into place, it is likely that people will continue to smoke or grow cannabis in their units, as many residents were consumers or growers even before legalization. Higher maintenance or rental fees will be required, in order to cover the cost of utilities.

In order to grow cannabis:

• 24-hour indoor lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning is required. This energy intensive activity will significantly increase your building’s overall water and energy consumption.

• According to CBC, it’s estimated that it takes 2000 kWh to produce a pound of cannabis. This is approximately six times the electricity that an average condominium unit uses in one month.

• If your residents are growing cannabis in their units, it will consume additional electricity and if your building is not suite metered, the cost will be absorbed by all residents in the building.

The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) recommends that condominium corporations get proactive in collecting information from residents on how they want to approach cannabis consumption and growth in the condo complex. Transparency is key to making decisions. Under the Condo Act, there are provisions in place to manage the recreational use and production of cannabis. Often amending a rule is easier than amending a declaration. Condominium corporations should approach cannabis control they same way they approach other issues like pets and noise issues. Leave your judgement at the door.

For more information on the Cannabis legalization and Ontario’s new rules please visit:

For more information on Suite Metering and how knowledge of residents energy use can help manage cannabis production, please read our article ‘Overcoming the Costs of Marijuana Legalization’ or call us at 1.866.836.3837 extension 2.