Pubdate: Mon, 23 Oct 2017
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2017 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Kevin Rollason
Page: A1


Real estate agents are worried about damage to home interiors with the
proliferation of legal medical marijuana grow-ops in residences, even
before marijuana is legalized in Canada.

Peter Squire, vice-president of the Winnipeg Realtors Association,
said members of the Canadian Real Estate Association were in Ottawa
last week to meet with federal MPs.

One of the chief topics discussed was Bill C-45, the law to make
cannabis legal across Canada in July.

"(The association) does have several concerns about the implications
and consequences of personal cultivation for homes and homeowners," he
said, noting damage from mould is a major issue.

"There are health and safety concerns, as well as questions regarding
homeowner rights, enhanced disclosure requirements, effective
oversight and enforcement of home grow operations."

As reported in Saturday's Free Press, some Winnipeg police officers
have got headaches from medically approved grow-ops.

Currently, when police smash an illegal marijuana grow-op, the address
information becomes public, and real estate agents must disclose what
used to be grown inside the house to would-be buyers.

Winnipeg Police Service Sgt. Carrol MacDonald said police hands are
tied when it comes to people approved by Health Canada to grow
marijuana for their own medical purposes or who designate others to
grow it for them.

MacDonald said because of privacy concerns, police can't tell anyone
they are legal grow-ops. No one knows what was grown at a residence.
Officers worry about the safety of medical marijuana growers - there
were two home invasions last month by people who knew plants were
growing at the locations.

She questioned why some people have permission to grow hundreds of

"If there's a need for marijuana (for cancer patients), I'm all for
it," she said. "But while 10 plants would do no harm, 292 plants is
outrageous. I'd like somebody to give me a sensible explanation. If I
get one, as to why somebody is that sick (that) they need 292 plants,
I'd accept it."

Health Canada says 210,000 Canadians have permission to use medical
marijuana. Most of them buy it through federally approved companies,
but more than 11,000 Canadians either grow it themselves or have
designated someone to grow it for them.

A Health Canada spokesman confirmed Friday somewhere in Canada there
is an individual who has been approved to grow 1,256 marijuana plants
inside or 490 plants outside. That's based on a doctor's prescription
of 258 grams per day.

The spokesman said about half the people who produce their own, grow
enough plants for one gram to 10 grams of marijuana per day. That
means half are growing from five to 49 plants indoors or two to 19

Squire said that's why the association wants the law to include proper
disclosure and national remediation standards for personal cultivation
in residences.

"We call them home-ops because whether they are legal or not, they are
still growing plants," he said. "We need to have mediation standards
for all homes. Medical ones can do as much damage to a house as other
grow-ops. What have they done to make it safe for somebody else?

"No one, including our members, is saying there isn't value for what
marijuana does for these people, but we need to protect people. What
does it take to make your house safe for a future buyer?"
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