Halifax landlord sends notice declaring apartments pot-free zones
Legal cannabis is only a matter of weeks away, but on Thursday a well-known Halifax landlord is laying down the law on cannabis.
In a letter sent to tenants, it declares their apartments a pot-free zone.
Chris Backer has been an advocate for medical marijuana with Maritimers United for Medical Marijuana for 11 years.
He says landlords imposing a ban is going to create hardship.
“These people, some of them have lived there for years, to uproot their entire life because of a policy change, for something that’s OK for other smoked products, is completely unfair,” Backer said.
Tenants of at least one Killam Properties apartment building received a letter that said this:
“Killam Apartment REIT is providing four (4) months’ notice to all tenants that the smoking or cultivation of marijuana is prohibited in your building.”
If that’s unacceptable, the tenants can find somewhere else to live. Backer is offended landlords are singling out the smell of marijuana.
“The assault on your senses when you walk in the door, for most apartment buildings, is offensive, but, it’s not solely cannabis,” Backer says.
The letter came from the Killam Properties office. The issue with recreational marijuana is fairly straightforward, but, with medical marijuana, it's not so clear.
Eric Coates is a law student working for the Dalhousie Legal Aid Service for the summer. He says the Nova Scotia provincial government opened up the rules to let landlords issue a ban and Killam Properties has the legal right to make the move.
“The government made an exception until April 30, 2019, for landlords to make reasonable rules around marijuana consumption -- recreationally,” Coates said.
The key word is recreationally.
“For medical marijuana, the landlord cannot prohibit someone from using medical marijuana,” Coates said.
But, there could be exceptions.
“The only situation in which they could, would, be, if, for example, if someone were smoking marijuana and it was causing a nuisance to other people in the building, or causing some sort of harm to other people,” Coates said.
It all comes down to whether it fits the legal definition of being a reasonable restriction. Defining reasonable when it comes to cannabis may take a few lawsuits and the setting of precedents.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw.