New regulations around medical marijuana still leave cities at risk

New medical pot grow-op law still leaves huge threat, Surrey fire chief says

Decommissioned buildings 24 times likely to burn, according to a recent study

Strict new regulations now in effect around the growing of medical marijuana still leaves cities at tremendous risk, Surrey’s fire chief says.

On Monday, the federal government announced the implementation of Health Canada’s new medical marijuana grow initiative, which will limit all new pot grow sites to commercial enterprises.

No new grow sites will be allowed in residential buildings.

However, Health Canada will not reveal to municipalities where the former residential grow operations were located. Statistics show the buildings are 24 times more likely to burn than a regular home.

There are more than 10,000 residential medical grow-ops in this province, with more than 500 in Surrey.

Those homes may have unsafe wiring, making them fire traps.

“The new regulations are a step forward because they will take the production of marijuana out of neighbourhoods,” Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis said. “However, it’s critical that future owners and occupants of former medical (marijuana grows) are made aware their homes were once used to grow marijuana.”

Old marijuana grow operations, for medical uses or otherwise, not only include potentially dangerous wiring, but also mould and dangerous chemicals used during the active grow operation.

Garis said cities need to know where they are so they can be rendered safe.

“Keeping their locations a secret after they are decommissioned will expose thousands of people – including children – to serious health and safety risks, along with significant costs to address them,” Garis said.

Mayor Dianne Watts said the problem must be taken seriously by Ottawa.

“We should all be gravely concerned about the impact on our communities and the safety of families when medical marijuana grow sites across the country are decommissioned,” Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said.

@diakiw

Just Posted

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

Overdose deaths down in Surrey, but more than two people still dying a week

As of the end of August, 86 people died by illicit drug overdose in Surrey, which is a drop from 2018

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read