Municipalities set to grapple with problem of homegrown weed

Cannabis legalization may be on the way but it could prove to be a headache for municipalities across Canada, a new report has found.

The report, released this week by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, says that the cultivation of personal cannabis plants — four will be allowed for every household in Canada — could generate a large number of complaints that cities across the country will have to deal with.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says it’s hard to prepare for something like legalization.

“We don’t know what the bylaws are going to be, this is new for us,” said Savage.

“We know that there will be people who will be demanding that we take this seriously from the point of view that nobody wants to be near smoke anymore, cigarette or marijuana smoke.”

READ MORE: Selling cannabis illegally in Nova Scotia could net the offender a $10K fine

The report flags a number of issues.

It says residential buildings are usually not designed or constructed to accommodate cannabis production — potentially exposing neighbours to unwanted odours or health impacts.

“There are problems with cultivating plants in a residential home or apartment,” said Kevin Russell, chair of the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia.

“There are electrical issues that have to be attended to, most homes and apartments do not have the electrical supply to take the electrical overload that may potentially occur.”

The report says that while the overall framework of marijuana legalization has been in the hands of the federal government or the provinces, it’ll be the municipalities that will have to decide on the nitty-gritty rules dealt with every day.

WATCH: Nova Scotia landlords want ability to deny cannabis use in apartments

Savage agrees.

“What are the implications if you’re inconveniencing other people? Some of those questions have been answered but a lot of them haven’t,” he said.

“So, the next steps for us is to have a report come back, our senior staff are looking at this, bring something back to council, lay it out for us so we know what the cost might be and also what do we have to do from a legislative point of view municipally.”

The report suggests that municipalities engage in public consultations to properly address the potential issues that could arise with in-home cannabis cultivation.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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