One of the largest apartment management companies operating in Saskatchewan is banning tenants from both smoking and growing marijuana on its properties.
Boardwalk sent out a notice to its tenants, notifying them of the policy ahead of legalization on October 17.
“We look at the residents’ and the associates’ safety as our first priority and then we look at the reasonable enjoyment of our resident members’ homes as our second priority,” said David McIlveen, speaking on behalf of Boardwalk.
The company argued the cultivation and smoking of cannabis poses a safety risk to both.
Smoking marijuana will not be allowed anywhere on Boardwalk properties and the policy will be enforced based on complaints. McIlveen explained Boardwalk has owned and operated multi-family buildings for decades and believes most renters don’t want to smell pot coming from their neighbours.
“We have heard back since the notice went out, directly from our residents, and so far we’ve only heard positive things,” McIlveen said.
While Boardwalk bans marijuana smoking, all of its properties currently allow smoking tobacco.
“The odour is totally different,” McIlveen said.
Tenants are aware they’re moving into a building that allows tobacco smoking when they sign tenancy agreements. McIlveen said Boardwalk can’t unilaterally change contracts to line up with the ban on marijuana. He added, they could make a change in new tenancy agreements if they wanted to but at this point, there are no plans to do so.
Medical marijuana users can request exemption
Under current rules, Boardwalk tenants who consume marijuana for medicinal purposes must have a licence.
With the new policy banning renters from smoking marijuana, Boardwalk will accept and review requests from medical users for an exemption on a case-by-case basis.
Boardwalk does have a preferred option.
“We’re hoping that many residents who use medical cannabis would be able to find another form to use,” McIlveen said.
Growing plants banned
Federal regulations in the new cannabis legalization law allow Canadians to grow up to four marijuana plants at home.
Boardwalk believes growing plants in its rental units would be a risk to health and safety, with specific concerns about mold.
“Cultivation requires quite a bit of moisture and our buildings weren’t meant for centres of cultivation,” McIlveen said.
Boardwalk has 2,115 units at 15 sites in Regina and 2,226 units at 14 sites in Saskatoon.