Cannabis use, consumption banned by major Alberta rental company Boardwalk

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WATCH: A major landlord in Alberta is taking a stand on marijuana. As Jill Croteau reports, Boardwalk says it will be banning the use of cannabis inside their rental suites when it becomes legal next month – Sep 26, 2018

A major rental company in Alberta is banning smoking, eating or growing cannabis in all of its properties across the province.

In notices sent to residents this week, Boardwalk said that despite the substance being legalized on Oct. 17, if you live in one of its buildings you can’t use or grow it.

“We just wanted to understand how we could view [legalization] within a multi-family facility knowing that safety and reasonable enjoyment were paramount concerns for all our residents,” director of community development David McIlveen said Wednesday.

READ MORE: Marijua–nah, say Calgary universities to smoking pot on campus

McIlveen said no consultations with residents were done, but said Boardwalk administration had a lot of discussions both in and outside the company to formulate its policy, which he said focuses on three main points:

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  • Safety of residents and associates
  • Reasonable enjoyment of homes for residents
  • Adhering to the laws of the land

He added that while no formal consultations were done with residents, Boardwalk hears from its residents all the time in a variety of settings.

“Certainly marijuana smoke and smoking is something that does come into our conversations as we connect with our residents,” he said.

Smoking tobacco isn’t prohibited in Boardwalk buildings and McIlveen said that won’t be changing.

“Tobacco is like comparing apples and oranges,” he said. “It’s a completely different issue – they’re two different substances.”

“Our policy is around marijuana so it doesn’t deal with any of the other legal substances that are available to the public.”

READ MORE: Online pot shopping will require double ID check in Alberta

In the notice sent to residents, the company also outlines concerns around the cultivation of marijuana, citing higher-than-average electricity use and high humidity that could cause moisture build-up in units.

Residents of Boardwalk buildings are also prohibited from selling or buying cannabis in or on the rental complexes, the policy states.

LISTEN: Real estate lawyer Roberto Noce joins Rob Breakenridge to discuss Boardwalk’s cannabis ban

McIlveen said enforcement of the new policy, which will apply to any and all new or re-signed leases, will be done in much the same way enforcement of other building policies are: if administration receives complaints about a particular resident from a neighbour, it will investigate and speak with the resident in question and give them a warning.

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He said if a problem persists, the issue would eventually go through the Residential Tenancies Act.

The City of Calgary’s cannabis bylaw prohibits public consumption of cannabis. In Edmonton, council established a 10-metre buffer zone around entrances, exits, windows, air intakes and bus shelters for marijuana consumption.

Boardwalk has about 22,000 units in all its buildings, with about 13,000 in Edmonton and 5,500 in Calgary. The rest are spread out throughout other Alberta towns and cities.