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.

Just Posted

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Oak Bay High students help to send children with cancer to Camp Good Times

Bottle drive is part of the Cops for Cancer, Tour de Rock campaign

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read