Nova Scotia landlords say they should decide their units’ pot rules

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Nova Scotia landlords say they should decide their units’ pot rules
WATCH: With legal recreational cannabis a few months away, a group representing landlords says members want to be able to control how and if tenants can grow and smoke it. Steve Silva reports – Jan 2, 2018

A Nova Scotia organization that represents owners of about 52,000 apartments wants the provincial government to let property owners decide if pot can be smoked and grown in units.

“There is a growing population among renters and potential renters who want to live in a smoke-free environment, and that includes both tobacco and marijuana, and there’s also concerns around growing and cultivating marijuana in apartment buildings,” Kevin Russell said in Halifax on Tuesday.

He is a policy analyst for the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia.

READ MORE: Sask. legislation to let landlords make the rules on tenants’ use of marijuana

Recreational cannabis is set to be legalized in Canada within months.

Russell noted that Saskatchewan’s government introduced amendments to legislation to let landlords decide if their tenants can smoke and grow cannabis.

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“There is nothing in the Residential Tenancies Act today that addresses the consumption or growth of marijuana. If landlords feel that tenants are in violation of existing provisions within the Residential Tenancy Act, such as interfering with the enjoyment of other tenants or damaging their unit, they can make an application to the Residential Tenancy Program for a hearing,” Andrew Preeper, a provincial spokesperson, said in an email.

READ MORE: B.C. landlords want ban on marijuana plants in rentals and stratas

Jonethan Brigley, a community advocate currently with the Benefits Reform Action Group, said he thinks that crafting a solution to issue should include an educational component, and a discussion with tenants, landlords and officials.

“I’m pretty sure a middle ground could be found where tenants would be allowed but with a program that gives them ventilation or proper procedures to follow,” he said in Dartmouth.

Preeper said the province’s approach to cannabis legalization is in development.

“This is a very complex undertaking and we expect to introduce legislation in the upcoming legislative session. What we announced in December was the first of several announcements about how Nova Scotia will approach cannabis legalization. We continue to have discussions around public consumption. Further decisions will be forthcoming,” he said.

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