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Updated: 20th November 2018 08:22

Alberta real estate investor stoked on idea of weed-friendly buildings

An Alberta real estate investor is looking to invest in marijuana-friendly properties that allow tenants to smoke cannabis when it becomes legal.

‘The landlord would be getting a lot of really great tenants who just happen to want to smoke marijuana'

Cannabis legalization is expected to come into effect during the summer of 2018. (CBC)

A Calgary-based landlord says he's looking to invest in rental properties where his tenants would be allowed to smoke marijuana after it becomes legal.

William Blake has been involved with residential rentals for the past 20 years, and owns properties in Calgary and Grande Prairie.

His buildings are all non-smoking; in the past, some tenants' tobacco smoking habits have led to conflict among neighbours.

"I'd have tenants smoking in one unit," Blake said. "Then I'd have tenants downstairs or beside in another unit calling me or my property manager and saying 'I've got to move. You've gotta do something about the smoking. I've got kids. If you don't fix it, I'm breaking the lease.' "

In Alberta, landlords have the right to restrict smoking in their buildings, provided it is mentioned in their rental agreements.

It would be a great opportunity for landlords- William Blake

Blake believes potential tenants who want to smoke cannabis in their homes will be looking for options.

"There's a lot of great tenants who just might like to smoke in their unit," said Blake, a member of the Alberta Landlord Association. "And if it's legal, why not?

"They don't want to be bothered by landlords, they don't want to be bothered by other tenants. They would be attracted to these types of units."

He's looking to invest in small buildings where he would allow tenants to smoke marijuana. The buildings would be equipped with air filters and smoking rooms to isolate the smell.

Blake thinks such buildings would have an upside for landlords.

"It would be a great opportunity for landlords who are looking for tenants," he said. "Because the vacancy rate is not that great for landlords. It's pretty high actually.

"By creating a marijuana-friendly rental complex, I think the landlord would be getting a lot of really great tenants who just happen to want to smoke marijuana."

He's currently working to get partners to invest in buildings in the province, including Edmonton.

@Travismcewancbc

​Travis.mcewan@cbc.ca

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