Recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada on Oct. 17, but renters in some provinces might not have the right to smoke or cultivate it in their homes.
Quebec’s new cannabis act, considered among the strictest in the country, gives landlords the right to change signed leases specifically to ban tenants from smoking marijuana.
The Quebec law states that “a lessor may modify the conditions of a lease … and in the absence of a refusal, the prohibition is deemed entered into the lease.”
Landlords will only have 90 days to make the change after marijuana becomes legal in October, and it will not apply to medical cannabis.
Rental board consultant Ted Wright told CTV Montreal that he’s warning renters to be careful about cannabis in their units, predicting that it could lead to evictions.
In Nova Scotia, the government has given landlords the right to “amend existing leases to put new rules in place about recreational cannabis smoking and cultivation.”
Landlords in Nova Scotia must provide four months’ written notice to the tenant before April 30, 2019, and tenant has the option of terminating the lease.
Saskatchewan has said it intends to allow landlords to prohibit “the possession, use, and sale” of cannabis inside rental units.
British Columbia’s laws, meanwhile, “prohibit(s) cannabis smoking under existing leases that prohibit smoking tobacco and to prohibit the personal cultivation of cannabis under existing leases, except for federally authorized medical cannabis.”
“For new leases, the existing provisions of each Act that allow landlords and tenants to negotiate the terms of leases will apply,” according to the B.C. government.
In Ontario, the government has not changed rental laws to address cannabis but does say that whether renters can smoke in their homes “depends on your building’s rules or your lease agreement.”
In Alberta, the government says “renters, condo-dwellers and those who live in multi-family dwellings may be restricted from growing cannabis in their homes based on rules established in rental agreements or condominium bylaws.”