Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 2009
Source: Niagara This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Amanda Street
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Port Colborne now has a protocol to follow when grow-ops are 
discovered by police within city limits.

The new policy will give staff the authority to deem buildings, which 
were used to cultivate marijuana, unsafe and prohibit occupancy.

The concept behind the new policy is to inspect the premises to 
determine if there is evidence of typical grow-operation effects on 
the property including electrical tampering, structural alterations, 
water damage and mould growth.

If any such problems are found, the city will have the authority to 
issue a building order and order prohibiting occupancy until the 
building is remediated. Former grow-op houses would have to be 
repaired in accordance with a professional and qualified air quality 
consultant and eventual certification that the building is clear of 
all hazards.

Prior to Monday, the city had no policy to deal with such issues, and 
has relied on practices of area municipalities as a guide. Since the 
Municipal Act changes came into effect the city has receive 
notification of one grow-operation on Troup Road.

In a report to council, staff "highly recommended" council has a 
protocol in place to deal with future drug busts.

There was no discussion on the policy at Monday's meeting and the 
policy was adopted by council.

In 2005 the Municipal Act was amended to require municipalities to 
inspect facilities upon notice from the police that a building in the 
community contained a marijuana grow operation.
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