Published on: October 09, 2018
Updated on: November 07, 2018
Article number: 205531

Cannabis: What you need to know

The Cannabis Act (“Federal Statute”) and the Act to constitute the Société québécoise du cannabis, to enact the Cannabis Regulation Act and to amend various highway safety-related provisions (“Provincial Statute”) regulate activities such as the production, possession and consumption of cannabis. These federal and provincial statutes and related regulations came into force on October 17, 2018.

These statutes and regulations have impacts on the practices of brokers, who should henceforth be required to ask new questions, make additional verifications, and disclose information in order to properly advise consumer for the purchase, sale or lease of an immovable or to secure mortgage financing. 

Leases 

For leased properties, the broker must verify the leases and let his client know if the consumption of cannabis is prohibited. 

  • Current lessee: 
    • Since the coming into force on October 17, 2018, a lessor has 90 days to add a clause to the lease prohibiting the smoking of cannabis on premises;
    • Starting on January 15, 2019: the lessor will only be able to amend a lease in the same way and within the same time constraints as apply to any other amendment.
  • New lessee: 
    • The lessor is allowed to include a clause prohibiting the smoking of cannabis when signing a new lease.

Co-ownership by-laws

In order to properly inform his client, the broker must review the syndicate of co-owners’ by-laws. These by-laws could restrict or prohibit the consumption of cannabis in various forms, despite the fact that it is now legalized. Where this is the case, the broker must inform any prospective buyer.

Disclosure in the Declarations by the seller of the immovable

When marijuana is being cultivated, regardless of the number of plants, the real estate broker must make sure this information is entered on the form Declarations by the seller of the immovable or the form Declarations by the seller of the immovable – Divided co-ownership in the case of a divided co-ownership property, and add any relevant details, as this is a factor that could have an impact on the buyer’s decision. 

In cases where cannabis cultivation is authorized for medical purposes, the broker must obtain the appropriate certificate and disclose its existence to the buyer in order to provide complete and transparent information.

It is important to note that the fact that a home has been used to grow marijuana constitutes an unfavourable factor that must also be disclosed when known. The real estate broker must therefore make sure that this information is entered on the form Declarations by the seller of the immovable and add any relevant information. 

The broker must question the seller regarding cannabis odours and smoke. Where this is an actual problem, this information must also be disclosed.

A buyer concerned by the production, consumption or odour of cannabis must notify his broker, who must take additional steps to ensure his client’s expectations are met. 

For more information

Federal Statute (C-45):

Provincial Statute:

Form Declarations by the seller of the immovable

Overview of the principal measures governing the production, possession and consumption of cannabis