Smoking allowed but not cultivation of cannabis in Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation rentals

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Tenants by the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation will be allowed to smoke and vapourize cannabis in their rental homes.

However, they will be prohibited from growing their own cannabis.

These will be part of updates to be made to existing tenancy agreements in rental properties by the public housing corporation.

The Metro Vancouver regional government owns and operates 49 housing sites across the Lower Mainland.

More than 9,000 people live in these apartments and townhouses that provide market and subsidized rental housing.

Donna Brown and Andrea Winkler, general manager for human resources and housing services, and program manager for affordable housing policy and planning, respectively, prepared a report on the effect of cannabis legalization on tenancy agreements.

“Smoking cannabis will now be considered the same as tobacco smoke,” Brown and Winkler wrote in their report. “The majority of Metro Vancouver Housing leases permit smoking. With the new regulations, these leases will now also allow the smoking of cannabis.”

But that will not be the case for new developments by the regional housing corporation.

“Tenancies for new developments will prohibit both smoking and vapourizing of tobacco and cannabis,” Brown and Winkler reported.

Recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada on October 17 this year.

Legalization includes the ability to grow up to four plants per household.

However, tenants in regional housing properties will not be allowed to cultivate cannabis.

“Optimal growing conditions require high humidity and light that has the potential to create mold in units and potential fire hazards,” Brown and Winkler wrote in their report. “For cultivation outdoors, staff resourcing is limited to enforce the provincial limit of four plants per household, at one-metre-tall, out of view from public spaces.”

“All new tenancy agreements will include wording that prohibits the cultivation of cannabis,” the two staff members continued. “If a tenant makes a request for landlord consent to grow cannabis for medical purposes, this request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.”

The report is included in the agenda Friday (September 7) of Metro Vancouver’s housing committee.