Marijuana Legalization: What Every Home Owner Should Know

Cannabis Basics in Ontario

  • Under new federal legislation, as of October 17, 2018, Cannabis will be legal
  • Medical cannabis will continue to be subject to different rules than recreational cannabis
  • You will need to be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis
  • You will be able to have a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public at any time. 
  • You will be able to share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
  • You will be able to grow up to four plants for personal use from licensed seed or seedling providers, per residence and not per person  
  • You will be able to make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
  • If you use marijuana, don't drive, you will face serious penalties, including: an immediate licence suspension, financial penalties, possible vehicle impoundment, possible criminal record, possible jail time
  • Marijuana will be available for sale online in Ontario through the Ontario Cannabis Store as of October 17, 2018
  • Cannabis edible products and concentrates will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force on October 17th, 2018.

Will growing cannabis damage my home?

There is a difference between an illegal "grow-op", growing hundreds of plants and growing  4 pot plants indoors; however, the prospect of purchasing a home used to grow marijuana can be concerning for some buyers.

Mike Dixon, environmental science professor and director of the Controlled Environment Systems Research Facility at the University of Guelph, disagrees. He says the amount of moisture produced by four plants wouldn't be nearly enough to encourage mould.

"The history [of home damage] has been based on grow-ops, where you're growing hundreds of plants and producing hundreds of litres of water," Dixon said. "With four plants? Nah."

When it comes to grow lights, Dixon said a single LED light of about 200 watts is perfectly sufficient to safely provide light for four plants without having to upgrade your electrical panel.  

Growing up to 4 marijuana plants indoors may not cause any physical damage to a property, but for some there is a stigma attached to growing marijuana, depending on one's sensitivities about the issue. For one buyer, a home that had one cannabis plant growing may have a negative factor, whereas another buyer may have no issues whatsoever.

Does a seller have to disclose property damage caused by marijuana?

A seller is obligated to disclose a latent defect, which is a defect that is not visible or easily discoverable, if the seller is aware of it, and if the defect could be deemed a serious health and safety risk to those living in the home. Examples of this related to cannabis would be toxic mould and mildew causing a health hazard due to the high humidity needed to grow the plants, but this would be related to illegal grow-ops with hundreds of plants, as compared to 4 or fewer marijuana plants legally grown at home.

How will cannabis legalization affect home values?

Homes that were former illegal grow-ops are difficult to sell, are stigmatized, and on average sold for about 20% less, because of the issues with mould, humidity, hazardous wiring, difficulty obtaining insurance and lower buyer demand; however, recreational home owners/home growers with up to 4 plants will more than likely approach this issue responsibly.
A majority of Canadian homeowners (64 per cent) believe that a home where the owners smoked pot would see a decreased value, according to a survey released October 16 by real estate website Zoocasa.


Interestingly, in  Denver, Colorado, a study found that property values increased on average by 8.4% for homes near  recreational marijuana shops compared with those slightly further away. 

Will dispensaries have the same effect on property values in Canada as they had in Denver, Colorado?

Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director of REMAX Integra, thinks they will, and  expects that crime rates will drop. He also says that the economic spinoff in the neighbourhood could contribute to increased property values. 

How will cannabis legislation affect condominiums?

 Condominium occupants, aged 19 years and older will be able to:

  • use recreational cannabis in their unit or on common element space
  • grow up to four plants for recreational use per unit and not per occupant
  • the smoking of cannabis will be prohibited in any indoor common area of a condominium, including parking garages, party or entertainment rooms, laundry facilities, lobbies and exercise areas 

Can condo boards limit the use of marijuana for recreational use?

  • While federal law will legalize the substance, many condominiums may prohibit it so as to maintain the value of the property as a whole and ensure the health and well-being of tenants
  • if you are considering growing cannabis in your unit, be sure that it does not violate any rules or regulations set by your building and condo board

For more information visit condominium