NOTICE TO OWNERS: CANNABIS LEGALIZATION AND PROPOSED CHANGES TO CONDO RULES

Dear Owners,

With the upcoming legalization of cannabis, the GGG Board is reaching out to owners for their opinions, comments, and ultimately to vote on new proposed condo rules. We have provided some information below so that we can bring the issues to everyone’s attention. The next step will be to send the proposed new condo rulesto everyone for a yes/no vote – whether you support it or not, we would really appreciate a reply. Again, the current email is to bring this matterto your attention and gather some feedback, it does not yet include the proposed rules(to follow), so please expect a couple more emails from us on thistopic. It is a very important issue that will affect residents’ day to day living, as well as condo fees and property value, so we appreciate your attention and cooperation.

This summer the Board has been researching various options with respect to restricting cannabis smoke and odours as it is our responsibility to represent owners’ best interests. Navigating what will be best for GGG has not been easy as there is a lack of resources and information since cannabis is not yet legalized (in effect federally October 17th 2018) and there are few precedents.

Based on the evidence, many public health agencies and offices in Canada have been vocal aboutthe risks of second-hand smoke in multi-unit dwellings. As you are likely aware, second-hand smoke can disperse throughout a building, traveling between adjacent units through cracks in walls, plug outlets, ceilings, windows, heating and ventilation systems, etc. There is the health risk, but also the question of nuisance/interference from those that do not wish to be affected by others’ smoking behaviour. The other concern is the odour that comes from smoking of and cookingwith cannabis and the smell from growing plants. Growing cannabis plants also raises concerns about higher utility bills and insurance premiumsleading to higher condo fees, major issues with mould from the heat and humidity required for growing, and an increased risk of fires. These are some of the reasons that we are proposing the implementation of new bylaw rules and have pasted a few article links below. They also discusssome of the reasons against adopting new rules despite these problems.

We are currently working with a lawyer in drafting the new condo rulesregarding cannabis. It is almost certain that not all owners will agree about the best route forward and we anticipate some resistance whatever the outcome of voting. However, as a Condo Board our role is to ensure that we have regulations preventing nuisances, behavioursthat interfere with others’ use and enjoyment of their units and common property. Our aim is to proactively address concerns that may arise when legalization comes into effect and to help ensure the GGG is a pleasant and attractive place to live. Legalization comes into effect federally October 17th 2018.

In our opinion, a partial cannabis ban in the building will be in owners’ best interest. Based on recommendations, we are proposing that edibles and oils be permitted, but that growing plants, smoking and vaping of, and cooking with cannabis be prohibited at GGG. Before the proposed bylaw rules are completed and sent to ownersfor approval/rejection, we welcome any comments or suggestions through the contact form.

We ask you to please considerthe following questionsin the coming weeks:

  • Would I support/not support: prohibiting smoking/vaping cannabis in units?

  • Would I support/not support: prohibiting smoking/vaping cannabis in exclusive use areas (this includes balconies and patios)?

  • Would I support/not support: prohibiting growing cannabis plants in units?

  • Would I support/not support: banning of cooking with cannabis?

  • Would I support/not support: allowing consumption of cannabis oil and edibles?

It is also worth noting that the proposed rules have nothing to do with the Board’s views on legalization of cannabis. Whether members are in favour of or opposed to legalization has no bearing on the need to implement rules. We are looking at what is best for the GGG community, particularly with respect to health, safety, insurance, condo fees and property value. From a financial perspective, we are asking that all owners please consider “what will be the effect on GGG property value if we do not introduce cannabis usage/growing rules?” and “if we do introduce cannabis usage/growing rules?”Again, there will always be differing views on whether to restrict cannabis use and growing, which is why we are seeking owners’ input.

There is very little official documentation surrounding cannabis legalization issues but here are some publically available news articles for anyone interested:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/cannabis-legalization-condos-alberta-1.4524661

https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/condo-boards-urged-to-consider-making-bylaws-oncannabis-use-by-residents

http://www.lashcondolaw.com/marijuana-rules-for-condominiums/

https://www.advocatedaily.com/joel-berkovitz-condos-should-use-rules-not-bylaws-for-pot.html

https://www.mcleodlaw.com/sites/default/files/McLeod%20Law%20LLP_CondoLaw_Blowing%20Smoke_Nov%202017_0.pdf

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/05/24/condo-boards-move-to-ban-pot-smoking.html

http://www.calgary.ca/CA/city-clerks/Documents/Legislative-services/Bylaws/24M2018- CannabisConsumption.pdf

We thank all owners for taking the time to read this notice and consider the questions posed above. We welcome your comments, suggestions and input. Since we anticipate some strong opinions on the subject, we would like to remind everyone that we are a group of volunteers taking time to navigate a new issue and doing our best to represent the best interests of all owners.

Regards,
GGG Board