Pubdate: Wed, 16 Sep 2015
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Langley Times
Author: Dan Ferguson


Legal Battle Over Health Canada Licences Makes It Impossible to Relocate

The owner of a medicinal marijuana grow-op in a Walnut Grove 
residential neighbourhood is following all applicable safety and 
ventilation regulations, said Township manager of bylaw enforcement 
Bill Storie.

That was the outcome of an inspection ordered after people living 
next to the house where the grow-op is located complained to the 
Township in August.

Storie told The Times that the owner of the facility is unable to 
move to another location because Health Canada has stopped issuing 
new medicinal marijuana growing licences.

The licence to grow marijuana is "specific to the address," Storie 
said, meaning the operator would need a new licence to operate if he relocated.

The freeze on Health Canada marijuana growing licences came because 
of a court battle over a federal government plan to replace the 
hundreds of small legal growers with larger commercial-scale grow ops.

The more than 600 medicinal grow-ops in Langley (by Township 
estimate) were all supposed to close last year, when small-scale 
growing licences issued by the federal government were set to expire 
as part of the switch to large-scale bulk marijuana cultivation.

But when the small growers objected to being eliminated and went to 
court, they managed to obtain an injunction.

The Federal Court of Canada is expected to decide whether the 
injunction should be made permanent within the next few months, but 
whatever the decision, it will almost certainly be appealed, meaning 
it could be several years before the matter is settled.

Meanwhile, all municipalities, including the Township, can do is 
inspect grow-ops to make sure they have proper air filtering to 
reduce odours and don't present fire or other safety hazards.

Residents of the Walnut Grove neighbourhood who complained about the 
grow-op told The Times they would have been better off it it was an 
illegal operation that could be closed down by police.

Margaret and her husband Paul live on one side of the grow-op, while 
Chris and Elizabeth live on the other (at their request, The Times is 
not using their last names nor divulging their addresses).

"I have no rights in this," Margaret said.

Paul was concerned about the potential fire hazard posed by running a 
grow-operation in a house that is not designed to serve as a greenhouse.

Both couples expressed concern that criminals would discover the 
grow-op location and attempt to rob it.

"What if they (criminals) go to the wrong house?" Chris said.

"No one wants to help," Elizabeth said.

Attempts by The Times to contact the owner of the grow op for comment 
were not successful.
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