Can I smoke or vape cannabis in an apartment or condominium in Ontario?

In Ontario, the use and possession of cannabis is legal under the federal Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Act, 2017, provided that it is for either medical or recreational purposes. However, the rules surrounding the use of cannabis in apartments and condominiums, which are privately owned or rental properties, may vary. In this article, we will discuss the legality of using cannabis in an apartment that you are renting and in a condominium unit that you own in Ontario, and whether it matters if the use is for medical or recreational purposes.

First, it is important to note that the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Act only apply to the possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes.

Under the Cannabis Act and the Ontario Cannabis Act, it is legal for individuals who are authorized to use cannabis for either medical or recreational purposes to possess and use cannabis in their homes. This includes apartments and condominium units. However, it is important to note that the use of cannabis may be restricted by other laws and regulations, such as those related to smoking in public places and second-hand smoke.

In apartments and condominiums, the rules regarding the use of cannabis may be set out in the lease agreement or the condominium corporation’s bylaws or rules. It is important to review these documents to determine whether the use of cannabis is permitted. If the lease agreement or bylaws and rules do not specifically address the use of cannabis, it may be treated the same as any other legal activity that takes place within the unit. In this case, the use of cannabis would generally be allowed as long as it does not interfere with the rights of other tenants or unit owners or residents, or cause damage to the property.

However, it is important to note that even if the use of cannabis is permitted under the terms of the lease agreement or the bylaws and rules of the condominium corporation, the landlord or condominium corporation may still have the right to take action if the use of cannabis is causing a nuisance or disrupting the quiet enjoyment of the property by other tenants or unit owners or residents. This could include the right to impose fines, or to seek an injunction to stop the use of cannabis.

It is also important to note that the use of cannabis may be restricted by other laws and regulations, such as those related to smoking in public places and second-hand smoke. Under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, it is illegal to smoke tobacco, cannabis, or any other substance in enclosed public places, enclosed workplaces, and certain outdoor areas, such as sports fields and playgrounds. This includes common areas in apartments and condominiums, such as lobbies, hallways, and elevators.

In addition, the Act prohibits smoking or holding lit tobacco or cannabis in any other place where it is not permitted to smoke. This means that it is generally illegal to smoke cannabis in outdoor areas of an apartment or condominium, such as balconies, patios, and common areas, unless the area is designated as a smoking area.

It is also worth noting that the Act allows landlords, including condominium corporations, to adopt and enforce policies that further restrict or prohibit smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes on their properties. This means that even if the use of cannabis is permitted under the terms of the lease agreement or the bylaws and rules of the condominium corporation, the landlord or condominium corporation may still have the right to restrict or prohibit the use of cannabis on the property if it is causing a nuisance or disrupting the quiet enjoyment of the property.

A young businessman smoking an electronic pipe in an office.

Finally, it is important to note that the use of cannabis may also be restricted by the rules and regulations of the apartment building or complex. Many apartment buildings and complexes have rules that prohibit smoking or the use of electronic cigarettes in the units or on the property. These rules may apply to the use of cannabis as well. It is important to review the rules and regulations of the apartment building or complex to determine whether the use of cannabis is permitted.

It is also worth noting that the use of cannabis may be restricted by federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations, such as zoning laws and building codes. These laws and regulations may limit the cultivation and use of cannabis in apartments and condominiums. It is important to familiarize yourself with these laws and regulations to ensure that you are in compliance with them.

Medical Use of Cannabis and Accommodation in Housing under the Ontario Human Rights Code

Under Ontario’s human rights code, individuals cannot be discriminated against in respect of their medical disability. If you use cannabis for medical purposes for a bonafide medical condition, housing providers must provide accommodation – to the point of what’s called “undue hardship”. Condo residents and apartment dwellers that use cannabis for medical purposes should work collaboratively with their housing provider to ensure they can continue using cannabis without creating a nuisance for others. This may be done through the use of air purification systems or a housing provider coming to an agreement to let you vape cannabis but not smoke it. Every situation may be treated differently.

Conclusion

In summary, whether you can smoke cannabis in an apartment you rent or a condominium unit you own in Ontario depends on a number of factors, including the terms of the lease agreement or the condominium corporation’s bylaws and rules, the laws and regulations related to smoking in public places and second-hand smoke, the rules and regulations of the apartment building or complex, and whether the use is for a bonafide medical condition. It is important to review these documents and laws to determine whether the use of cannabis is permitted in your particular situation.

Harrison Jordan is a Toronto-based cannabis lawyer. If you are having a dispute with your condo board or apartment building, get in touch with him now at 647-371-0032 or fill out the form to the right.

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