On October 17th, 2018, the legalization of cannabis came into effect. Although it is possible for an adult to possess 150 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent, it is forbidden to have it in your possession in certain public places. However, what about the laws governing cannabis in seniors' residences?
Restrictions of cannabis use in Quebec
According to the Regie du logement du Quebec's website, the law establishes that it is forbidden to smoke cannabis in the common areas of private seniors' residences. A closed smoking room in which cannabis is allowed can be used. These smoking rooms can only be used by residents and construction rules apply. However, if there is already an on-site smoking room for smoking, it must be that smoking room that is also used for cannabis use. The smoking room must also be bounded by partitions or walls extending from the floor to the ceiling, so that it is completely closed, and be equipped with a ventilation system ensuring that the air pressure is negative and allowing direct evacuation of smoke to the outside of the building. In addition, the door giving access to this smoking room must be equipped with an automatic closing device ensuring that it closes after each use.
Identified units for cannabis use
In addition, it is possible to identify units where smoking or vaping cannabis is permitted in seniors' residences (CHSLDs or private residences for seniors). Only guests or residents staying in these units may smoke in these rooms. The number of rooms identified must not exceed 20% of the units available to all residents. This proportion should also consider rooms where smoking is permitted. Moreover, if rooms are already identified for smoking, they must first be identified for cannabis use. As with cigarettes, it is permissible for a landlord to include clauses prohibiting the smoking of cannabis in new leases.
Cannabis in retirement homes: The current situation
Many residences do not allow the cultivation, sale and consumption of cannabis in the form of cigarettes, in common areas (indoor and outdoor, such as gardens or balconies) as in apartments.
However, many retirement homes accept to accommodate people who have a prescription for medical purposes and who consume cannabis in its other forms (tincture, ingestible oil, topical cream and food), as long as this does not contravene the well-being of other residents.
The portrayal of cannabis use in Quebec
Currently, the proportion of seniors who consume cannabis is relatively low, but some do use it for therapeutic purposes. Which would be effective in some cases to reduce pain, if you are well followed by a doctor. Health Canada offers the possibility for cancer patients to use cannabis for medical purposes to help relieve the symptoms and side effects they experience.
However, the use of cannabis is not to be taken lightly, because it involves risks, that is to say, it can intervene with certain medications, that’s why seniors have to be well followed when they choose to use cannabis.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society’s website, some studies show that smoking cannabis over a long period of time can increase the risk of lung cancer among others. Other studies did not yield the same results. Cannabis also causes the following side effects:
sensory changes, including loss of balance and longer reaction times
dryness of the mouth
fast heart rate
increase in blood pressure
It is, therefore, necessary to be very vigilant and be sure to discuss with a doctor before using.
To learn more about Bonjour Residences or to get help finding the right retirement for you, contact a member of our team. It will be a pleasure to assit you.