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WALKER: Legalized Marijuana and real estate

Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate.
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May 19, 2018 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


I, like many others, have watched with genuine interest as the federal government moves us closer to the full legalization of marijuana. Politics aside, it is going to be fascinating to see how legalization is rolled out (no pun intended).

However, from a real estate perspective, one thing to keep in mind is that, as of right now, marijuana is still a regulated substance and growing pot on your property is a terrible idea. Seriously - don’t do it.

As you probably know, when a home is sold, a property disclosure statement must be completed by the sellers. If the property has been used to grow marijuana and this is disclosed - yes, even if it is just one plant on the patio - it will put most lenders off, meaning financing will be an issue. As you might imagine, this could have a severe impact on the value of the property.

You might be thinking, “Pfft - who is going to know about one plant? Just tell a little lie.” That would be a big mistake. If it ever came out, say from a neighbour, gardener or a friend - you could be in some serious trouble.

When a property is designated as a “former grow-op”, marketing that kind of home and securing the financing is very, very challenging. Moreover, there are no remediation standards for former grow-ops under present legislation, meaning the former grow-op tag remains a significant problem for many years to come. Homes with one plant are often treated like homes with 200 too. It will be interesting to see if remediation standards are introduced following legalization.

Ultimately, as of right now, you should not grow marijuana at home. We may be getting close to legalization, but at the time of writing, it is still illegal and there can be significant consequences, and not just to the value of the property. When it comes to your home, my professional advice is to always do things by the book. Make sure you follow all the necessary laws, get all the required licenses and permits etc. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you have any questions about the Kelowna real estate market or real estate in general, I encourage you to reach out to me directly. You can reach the Walker Real Estate office at 250-764-4344.

—Mark Walker is a real estate agent and the broker/owner of Kelowna’s Walker Real Estate. His company runs the website KelownaProperties.com - Kelowna’s most comprehensive real estate search tool - and KelownaCondos - your source for all you need to know about condos in Kelowna.


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