Cannabis le­gal­iza­tion an is­sue for home­buy­ers?

Real es­tate as­so­ci­a­tions face a very new set of prob­lems when it comes to weed by Jef­frey Sand­ford

Bayview Post - - NEWS | REAL ESTATE -

As the era of le­gal mar­i­juana draws near, On­tario real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als are de­mand­ing the gov­ern­ment do some­thing to pro­tect home­own­ers from a pos­si­ble boom in grow-ops that could dam­age the prov­ince’s hous­ing stock.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is set to le­gal­ize mar­i­juana this summer. Al­though no spe­cific date has been set for re­tail stores to open, it looks like Au­gust will be the month for mar­i­juana.

In re­sponse, the On­tario Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion (OREA) re­cently sub­mit­ted five rec­om­men­da­tions to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment for new rules that would pro­tect un­sus­pect­ing buy­ers from ac­quir­ing a property dam­aged by cannabis cul­ti­va­tion.

“Le­gal­iza­tion is go­ing to lead to more pot be­ing grown in homes,” said David Reid, pres­i­dent, OREA.

“We know cannabis cul­ti­va­tion in res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties can cre­ate se­ri­ous health and safety is­sues around mould and elec­tri­cal sys­tems that have been tam­pered with. Home­own­ers need rules that pro­tect buy­ers against the risk that they might end up buy­ing a for­mer grow-op.”

OREA is sug­gest­ing li­censed home in­spec­tors be trained to spot the tell­tale signs that a home was once a grow-op.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion also rec­om­mends the gov­ern­ment des­ig­nate build­ings that have been used for il­le­gal grow op­er­a­tions as “un­safe” un­der the On­tario Build­ing Code Act, that a mu­nic­i­pal build­ing in­spec­tion be com­pleted af­ter a home is de­clared un­safe and that mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties be re­quired to reg­is­ter re­me­di­a­tion work or­ders on the ti­tle of for­mer grow op­er­a­tions.

In­ter­est­ingly, the OREA re­port also rec­om­mends that the sug­gested fed­eral reg­u­la­tion that Cana­di­ans be al­lowed to grow “four plants per house” be cur­tailed.

“We also need a re­stric­tion on the num­ber of plants that a home­owner can grow from four to one in units 1,000 square feet or smaller,” said Reid.

Grow­ing cannabis in­doors of­ten in­volves cre­at­ing con­di­tions with high hu­mid­ity and high

Denise Lash, prin­ci­pal, Lash Condo Law

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