HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Who's Minding The Pot?
Pubdate: Thu, 05 Oct 2017
Source: Delhi News-Record, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Sun Media
Author: Susan Gamble
Page: A1


Norfolk police board, county seek answers on personal grow-ops

Health Canada is handing out licences for people to grow marijuana for
personal use, but the question of who will be monitoring that growth
has stymied both the Norfolk police board and council.

"The federal government allows the licence but who's following up on
this?" asked Mayor Charlie Luke at last week's police board meeting.

"Who's checking to see that they're abiding by the licence? Is it the
feds? The OPP? Certainly it's not the county and I'm thinking these
personal grow operations are going to be way out of control."

While large commercial marijuana greenhouses have been set up in the
county without issue, Norfolk county council has been receiving
complaints about the smaller grow-ops due to the size of the
'personal' operations and the strong smells wafting out to roads and
neighbouring properties.

Norfolk County currently has staff looking into what the county can
and can't do under its mandate. A report comes back to council next

But meanwhile, interim Norfolk County OPP detachment commander Shawn
Nash said his police service is waiting for much more information in
order to know how to tackle current complaints.

"We're awaiting additional information so we know what steps we must
take to prepare our members. There are a lot of things to consider."

Nash told the board the OPP can, at this point, at least determine
whether a grow-op is a licensed operation if a complaint comes in.

While Mayor Luke has said there have been no issues with the large
scale commercial marijuana growing operations, there are serious
complaints about small growers who have a licence from Health Canada
to produce marijuana for personal use or for others. A person with a
Health Canada licence can designate a grower to produce marijuana for

In one case in Norfolk, one property has ensured it has multiple
county addresses and can grow for four licences at each address.

Complaints from neighbours have especially focused on a strong odour
that comes from the greenhouses.

"I have visited (one complained of ) site on more than one occasion,"
said Luke.

"The smell on Concession 14 at night is horrendous. I don't know how
people stand it."

Luke said he can smell the marijuana when just driving past the area
with his windows rolled up and the odour remains on his clothes more
than 20 minutes after a visit. He said he was frustrated at the
differences between a commercial operation and personal grow-ops. Nash
told the board the OPP will initiate investigations if a complaint is
made about a personal grow-op, but the police would have to consider
"a lot of factors" before entering the property.

He said the police have the power to check with Health Canada about
how many plants are covered under a licence and would have the power
to lay charges if there are more plants in a small grow-op than are

The board discussed whether any regulations could be considered under
insurance issues or fire code rules.

Luke noted the entire issue is complicated by the fact that when a
doctor issues a prescription to use marijuana to deal with pain, the
prescription is by grams and Health Canada calculates how many plants
the user is allowed to grow in order to harvest that many grams. "Not
everyone grows the same amount - it's determined by the physician."

Police board chair Peter Hellyer said the board has to "get out in
front" of this issue.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, OPP and the Saskatoon
Police Service have told the government they need more time to train
officers about the new laws, more time for public education and more
officers to work on roadside drug impaired driving tests.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt