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

Missing Kelowna woman found

Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer has been located

More than $270,000 raised for Kelowna-based hospice

10th Swinging with the Stars fundraiser for the Central Okanagan Hospice Assoc. is a big success

Former Kelowna councillor and radio talk show host Barrie Clark dies

Clark remembered as a fair-minded ‘statesman’ who saw the big picture when it came to Kelowna

Getting into the swing of spring

Kelowna garden shop is busy now that spring has finally arrived

Lake Country brain injury service expanding

CONNECT Communities is expanding to Hamilton, Ontario

Wilkie returns home with three medals in tow

Paralympic champion returns home with a gold, silver and bronze from the 2018 PyeongChang games

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Parents respond to suicide alertness workshops

SafeTalk session discusses recognition and intervention awareness

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals on the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

B.C. bravery, public service honoured by Governor General Julie Payette

UVic basketball coach Kathryn Shields inducted into Order of Canada

Sea lion with rope wrapped around neck saved by Vancouver Aquarium

Steller sea lions are a species of special concern and some populations are endangered in parts of Alaska

Most Read