CHC Introduces Cannabis Policy

CHC Introduces Cannabis Policy

Calgary Housing Company (CHC) is home to almost 25,000 Calgarians including about 10,000 children. Our priority is the safety, security and opportunity for all tenants to have peaceful enjoyment of their homes.

With changes to cannabis laws expected later this year, CHC has developed a new Cannabis Policy to balance the needs of all tenants and ensure a safe and healthy environment for tenants, staff, contractors, and visitors and to protect the security and condition of the properties we manage.

Letters and notices are being sent to tenants to ensure awareness of the current rules and to let tenants know what will happen at CHC properties after legalization. A formal letter regarding current rules was sent in March. In mid-April, Tenants will receive a legal notice CHC is providing regarding the new policy. All tenants will receive these notices – they are not intended to single out any individuals or to be seen as accusations of any wrongdoing.

Cannabis growing, vaping or smoking on CHC property is currently restricted and will continue to be restricted after legalization.

Those with medical needs can apply for an exemption that allows them to consume cannabis – supporting documentation will be required but the documentation will not have to state the reason a medical prescription is required. You must show that you have a prescription, but you do not have to share why you need it.

Cannabis Policy

Current rules:

  • Cannabis possession, use and growth is illegal without a medical prescription.
  • If illegal activity is discovered within a CHC-managed property it would be a substantial breach of the terms of the lease and could result in eviction.
  • Tenants can apply for medical exemptions to this policy if they have a medical prescription.

After legalization:

  • CHC will continue to prohibit the smoking, vaping and growing of cannabis in CHC properties or on CHC-managed property.
  • Possession and use of edibles will not be restricted beyond what Federal and Provincial legislation set out.
  • Tenants can apply for medical exemptions to this policy if they have a medical prescription.

Medical Exemptions

Before legalization:

  • Tenants must make an application for an exemption allowing them to consume cannabis on CHC property.
  • Supporting documentation must be provided.
  • Contact your Property Manager for information on how to make an application.
  • If your application is declined, you have the right to appeal. Talk to your Property Manager to find out how.
  • If you are in a non-smoking building, an exemption may not permit you to smoke or vape cannabis – alternate arrangements may be required.

After Legalization:

  • Tenants must still apply for exemptions
  • Supporting documentation will be required.
  • If you are in a non-smoking building, an exemption may not permit you to smoke or vape cannabis – alternate arrangements may be required.

Frequently Asked Questions - click to open

1. Will I be evicted if I use cannabis in my home?
Cannabis use is currently illegal except for medical use. Using cannabis in your CHC-managed home without a medical exemption is a substantial breach of your lease and could be grounds for eviction.

After legalization, smoking, vaping or growing cannabis without a medical exemption will still be a violation of the terms of your lease and could be grounds for eviction.

CHC’s goal is to provide safe, secure, affordable housing and to balance the needs of all tenants – you should speak to your Property Manager to determine if you might qualify for an exemption or to have the terms of your lease clarified.

2. If cannabis is going to be legal, why can’t I smoke it in my home?
The safety and wellbeing of all our tenants is a priority for CHC – we must balance the needs of all tenants by restricting activities which can negatively impact the health and safety of others or their peaceful enjoyment of their homes and common areas.

3. Can I smoke cannabis in my yard?
No. Smoking or vaping of cannabis products is not allowed anywhere on CHC-managed properties and will not be allowed after legalization. Tenants with medical need are invited to apply for a medical exemption.

4. How do I get a medical exemption?
Contact your Property Manager or Tenant Liaison. They can provide the information you need to make an application for an exemption.

We are currently reviewing the forms and process for these applications, so there may be changes.

5. Do I have to disclose any medical conditions if I want to apply for a medical exemption?
No. You must provide proof of a legitimate prescription, but that documentation does not need to indicate the reason for the prescription.

6. If I am denied a medical exemption, can I appeal? How do I do that?
Yes, you can appeal the decision if you are denied. The appeal procedure is currently under review but your Property Manager can provide you more information on how to proceed with an appeal.

7. My neighbours are smoking cannabis in their unit – what do I do?
Please be aware that some individuals may have a medical exemption or some other special permission that allows them to consume cannabis in their unit. In some cases this may allow for cannabis to be smoked. If you are ever concerned that any activity in violation of the law or of CHC policy is taking place, please contact your Property Manager, Tenant Liaison or one of our District Offices.

8. If cigarette smoking is allowed in my building, why can’t I smoke cannabis when it is legal?
Although smoking is allowed in some CHC-managed properties, we are moving to reduce this over time in order to balance the rights and enjoyment of home for all CHC tenants.

As a family-oriented housing company whose residents include almost 10,000 children, we do not wish to expand smoking activity. There is also significant concern over the impacts of second-hand cannabis smoke. The negative health effects of second-hand tobacco smoke are well known. Second-hand cannabis smoke carries additional concern over the intoxicating effect on others, including children.

Smoking – cannabis or tobacco products¬ – also causes negative effects to the properties themselves.

9. What cannabis products can I use in my home now?
As cannabis possession and use is currently illegal, no cannabis products are currently allowed without a medical exemption.

10. What cannabis products can I use once it is legalized?
Following legalization, smoking and vaping will still be prohibited. Permitted cannabis products for medical need exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Legally permitted possession of cannabis and the use of edibles will not be controlled.

Growing cannabis plants will not be allowed. A medical exemption may allow for limited growing of cannabis plants.

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