Posts by Lauren Blumas

Recreational marijuana – coming to a unit near you

May 23rd, 2017 by Lauren Blumas

The federal government has announced its plans to legalize recreational marijuana. In addition to legalizing possession of cannabis for recreational purposes ‑ we’ve long had a regime for legal possession of medical cannabis ‑  the proposal allows households to grow up to four marijuana plants under 100 cm. What will legalization mean for rental and co‑op housing?

Read the rest of this entry

Co-ownerships – your entrance to the real estate market?

November 8th, 2016 by Lauren Blumas

I’m a millennial. I’ve had many discussions with my millennial (and other) peers about the soaring cost of real estate and the barriers to us young(ish) adults getting in to the housing market in Toronto and surrounding areas.

Many of my friends have reluctantly counted themselves out of the market entirely.

But perhaps there is a way to own a home despite current conditions through co‑ownership with friends, acquaintances or family members.

To some, co‑ownership might seem like a radical hippy ideal harkening back to the 60s and 70s. The truth is that it can be structured, through contract, to suit all kinds of arrangements and ideals.

For some, co‑owning a home is simply a cost‑splitting mechanism to gain entry in to the elite world of City real estate. Co‑owned homes may have segregated living space with all the privacy of apartment style living. Others might structure their co‑ownership with communal living ideals in mind – complete with shared household responsibilities.

In either case, co‑ownership might just be the only feasible way forward for many first‑time homebuyers trying to break-in to today’s market.

We’re ideally situated to help you along the path of co‑ownership. As a small law firm with progressive ideals, we’ve been engaged in non‑traditional housing development work of this nature for 40 odd years.

If co‑ownership is something you are considering, stay tuned for our upcoming free session on the “how to’s of co‑ownership”. Date and location to be announced shortly. Sign up to our email list to receive the announcement.

Landlords and tenants to fight out right to grow medical marijuana under new regulations

October 27th, 2016 by Lauren Blumas and Claudia Pedrero

This article was first published on rabble.ca

The new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation (ACMPR), which came into force on August 24, 2016, has changed how patients with prescriptions for medical marijuana can get their medicine. The ACMPR came to be, in part, as a response to a Federal Court ruling that the former Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) violated the Charter because it prohibited personal production of medical cannabis. For many medicinal cannabis users, the cost of accessing through the channels allowed under the MMPR were simply unaffordable.

Read the rest of this entry

Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act come into force September 8th

September 2nd, 2016 by Lauren Blumas

Workplace sexual harassment has been in the news, a lot. The legislature responded to calls for increased protections for workers by proposing amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which expand the scope of harassment to include workplace sexual harassment and increase employer obligations to employees.

Those amendments come into force on September 8th. Employers and employees need familiarize themselves with those amendments if they have not already. We blogged about the amendments back in April, here.

So what are the essentials for September 8th? Read the rest of this entry

Outgrowing the government: Medical cannabis access in Canada in light of the Allard decision

March 3rd, 2016 by Lauren Blumas

This article was first published on rabble.ca. It is co-written by Jenna Valleriani.

Each week, new retail storefronts are opening in the city of Toronto. But these aren’t your average retailers.

Medical cannabis dispensaries, storefronts which dispense cannabis on-site to those with medical conditions, have historically operated on the margins of the law, providing access to patients since a time in Canada when there was no legal means of doing so.

But this is not the slow uptake of a grassroots movement by the mainstream. What cities like Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto are experiencing can accurately be described as a dispensary boom — neon lights and all. What is going on? Why now? And are they legal?

Read the rest of this entry

‘Whose body is this?’: The right to die with dignity revisited

January 29th, 2015 by Lauren Blumas

Over the holiday season a story out of Winnipeg grabbed the attention of the Canadian public. The story went something like this: an elderly woman fell in the home she shared with her middle‑aged son. She was injured in the fall and left unable to get up under her own power. Her son, apparently carrying out the wishes of his mother, did not call for emergency assistance and did not move her to bed. Instead, the 62‑year-old covered his mother with a blanket where she lay and provided her with food and water until she passed away several weeks later.

Read more on rabble.ca