Cannabis and Real Estate

Real Estate

Hoohray, there are lot of happy Canadians that can now step out of the shadows and enjoy their cannabis, weed, marijuana or whatever your favourite slang is.

From the perspective of real estate agents we have been programmed to recognize the signs of a grow-up in homes and must disclose if we have knowledge of one.  Now every and any homeowner in certain provinces can grow their own Cannabis at home. So now as far as real estate goes what advice do we give our clients?

As far as smoking cannabis, my advice would be to treat it like you would smoking cigarettes in your home, "Don't smoke in the house".  Marijuana smell can be just as powerful as cigarette smoke and can potentially leave permanent odours if smoked indoors excessively.

A grow op is considerable amount of marijuana grown to sell and reap illegal profits. So, yes it is still a disclosure issue and illegal, and can cause significant harm it can do to the home.  However, what about the plants we are now legally allowed to grow for our own consumption?

CREA has expressed concerns that home values will be negatively impacted with growing four plants at home the same way as a grow-op with hundreds of plants growing and humid conditions causing sever mould and other fungi throughout the home.  There have been opinions stressed that four plants cannot cause the same damage because they would not produce as much moisture and opinions that it can be as harmful.

When it comes to growing four plants there seems to be two schools of thought so I reached out to an expert to get some facts and really learned a lot.  Joe Sanford, Chief Operations Manager at Breathing Green Solutions, a licensed grower in Wentworth, NS was kind enough to enlighten me.

Well did I learn a lot!  Growing Cannabis is not like a growing a geranium on your windowsill! To grow Cannabis you need to start with a minimum 2 gallon pot and supports.  Think of growing tomato plants in your house.  Cannabis is not naturally an indoor plant and needs a lot of humidity in the initial growing period referred to as the 'vegetation' stage.  The plants require at least 50% in this stage.  When you are growing indoors you need to mimic an outdoor grow season, eighteen hours of sunlight in the vegetation stage.  The vegetation stage is when you decided how large you are going to grow your plants.  They can be two feet or ten feet. When the plants start to bud they need twelve hours of sunlight.  Too mimic these sunlight hours special lighting is needed and is referred to as grow lights, which historically have been used to start tomato plants and other vegetables indoors.  

Grow lights commonly referred to as high frequency lights become very hot.  If this lighting is not wired properly or if it is used in confined spaces can it cause fires.

Now we have our first potential issues: safety and insurance

The more dangerous side of growing Cannabis indoors is the humidity if the proper ventilation is not installed, moisture will spread.  For optimum growth fans are needed to cool the plants.  So where is the humidity going?  If the proper exhaust ventilation to remove the humidity from the room directly to the outside is not installed it is being absorbed by whatever surface will absorb the humidity. ie: drywall, baseboards, flooring, furniture, food, etc.

This is our second potential issue.  Now let's circle right back to smell. 

Cannabis can give off a stronger smell when it is growing especially in the bud stage than it can when it is being smoked.  Any porous surfaces in your home can and will absorb this odour including drywall and fabric.  This odour will have not only a negative affect on the value of your home can reduce the desirability factor to nearly zero.

So ask yourself this question, "am I willing to risk exposing myself and/or my family to the danger of fire or the illness that can be brought on by mould or "am I willing to risk diminishing the value of my family's most valuable asset?"  I would say if 'no' is the answer to any of the above it is best to leave the growing to the professionals.   Even starting out with a few small plants often leads to an unrealistic belief that you've gained enough knowledge and could escalate into increasing the size of the plant and the risk to your family and home value.

 

For more information on this topic reach out to me. Let's talk soon!