Licensed medical marijuana home grows can be just as problematic in terms of fire and other safety hazards as illegal grow-ops

Licensed medical marijuana home grows can be just as problematic in terms of fire and other safety hazards as illegal grow-ops

Cities want licensed medical marijuana grows revealed

Public safety tops pot privacy concerns for municipal leaders in UBCM debate

B.C. cities are once again demanding Health Canada give them the addresses of licensed medical marijuana growers so they can mount inspections in the name of public safety.

The resolution from Abbotsford – a repeat of past years’ requests – was passed Wednesday by the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler, despite opposition from some delegates over privacy concerns.

Cities fear unpermitted alterations, illegal rewiring and mould pose a risk not just to current residents but those who may in the future buy former grow-ops that aren’t remediated.

“The safety of our residents and the safety of people buying these homes has to be paramount,” Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman told the convention.

The federal government is moving to a commercial mail order model of medical marijuana production, but that strategy is on hold pending court challenges from medical pot users.

While Ottawa expects the legacy medical pot growers to voluntarily comply with the change and stop growing their own plants – if the new system is upheld – many cities doubt that will happen given the number of licensed users.

Banman said there are 829 licensed medical growers in Abbotsford and more than 900 – representing 20 per cent of the homes – in nearby Mission.

“That’s a lot of glaucoma in my books,” said Banman, who has been a steady critic of the federal government’s refusal to identify the sites.

He said there are just four Health Canada inspectors to check licensed medical home grows in all of western Canada, adding they could not inspect all of the licensed sites in Abbotsford alone if they were dedicated to his city for a year.

Metchosin Coun. Moralea Milne said if the more than 1,700 licensed medical growers in Abbotsford-Mission are an indication that “we should be legalizing that stuff if that many people are growing it.”

Central Kootenay Regional District director Andy Shadrack agreed with calls for legalization and concerns around privacy.

“On no other health issue do we go into people’s homes and say you’re not doing things right.”

UBCM passed dozens of other resolutions Wednesday, including:

– A Langley City call for the province develop a method to compensate cities for the time their firefighters spend on medical first responder calls that have increased as a result of provincial downgrading of ambulance response to lower priority 911 calls.

– A Vancouver resolution urging the province to regulate the party bus industry.

– A call for Canada Post to delay its planned termination of direct home mail delivery.

– A request from Maple Ridge that the province exempt up to $300 a month of child support from income assistance clawback rules on earned income.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read