Cannabis and Accommodation: Weeding out Legitimate Requests

February 12, 2019 | Jason Rivait

With the legalization of cannabis, many condo corporations have recently passed provisions to prohibit the smoking of cannabis.  While there has been much said about the creation of these provisions, there has been little written about the duty to accommodate.

The smoking of recreational cannabis is not, in and of itself, a protected human right. However, if a resident has a medical condition and requires the use of cannabis, there is an obligation for the condo corporation to accommodate that person and permit the activity up to the point of undue hardship.

The parties should engage in a meaningful, respectful and confidential conversation to ascertain if the medical condition is considered a disability in accordance with applicable human rights legislation and whether the smoking of cannabis is a necessity.

There is always a balancing of individual and community rights when dealing with condo issues and this comes to the forefront with cannabis.  Some points to consider during this process:

  • Condo corporations should not hesitate to request medical documentation which establishes that the person has a medical disability and requires the use of cannabis.
  • Ask for regular medical updates on the person’s condition and whether the accommodation is still necessary. For example, is the medical condition permanent or temporary?
  • Further discussion should be had with respect to consumption and the type of accommodation required.  For example, does the medical condition necessitate that cannabis is consumed by way of smoking or are there other forms of consumption that are acceptable (i.e. edibles or oils)?

Condo corporations should always approach these issues with an open mind and deal with requests for accommodation on a case-by-case basis.

Some residents will have a medical condition that requires the use of cannabis and these individuals should be accommodated up to the point of undue hardship.  However, some residents may simply use cannabis recreationally.  In this regard, it is prudent to engage in a dialogue with residents so that the condo corporation can weed out the legitimate requests for accommodation.


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