Local realtor warns cannabis growers to find the facts

By Jessie Weisner
October 11, 2018 - 5:21pm Updated: October 12, 2018 - 10:18am


Four cannabis plants can be grown in each household come legalization, but little is known about the effect they can have on a home.

Buying, selling and renting homes may get a little more complicated on October 17th.

One member of the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board says marijuana plants can cause damage, and further issues down the road.

“Mortgage insurance companies will ask questions,” says Norbert Kleiber, president-elect for the Medicine Hat Real Estate Board. “We may not be able to furnish a home with proper insurance or even a mortgage if it has been known to grow cannabis.”

Kleiber says growing plans won’t only cause issues with insurance, it could also decrease the value of the home in the long run.

A recent survey conducted by online real estate brokerage Zoocasa says just under 50 per cent of home buyers would reconsider a house marijuana had been grown inside.

“When we get home inspections, they have thermal imaging devices,” says Kleiber. “Depending on the level of mould in a home or moisture in a home that either moves a sale forward or obviously creates a situation.”

When it comes to rental properties, standards set out by the AGLC say any landlord can ban both smoking and growing.

Many have drafted policies already, based on the concern that the high humidity will cause mould or structural damage to their property.

However, one local property manager says there’s no issue if the tenant has respect for his property.

“Everything is in moderation I guess,” says Larry Neufeld. “If you’re wrecking the house then I guess I’ll have something to say about it but most people have house plants anyway.”

A Medicine Hat head shop agrees, saying four plants is nothing to worry about in a home.

“Four plants isn’t enough to cause any sort of negative affect on a home or an apartment or a condominium,” says Caelan Walton, sales associate at Hemp Town Rock “Any more than having four regular houseplants would be.”

However, homeowners and renters may want to investigate the possible ramifications before decided whether to grow their own pot.

City still discussing public use of cannabis bylaw