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

Whispers finds new home for thrift store

The new location is on Third Street.

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Indigenous leaders call for change after ‘system fails’ Tina Fontaine

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Atwal fiasco dogs Trudeau; PM pledges a ‘conversation’ with MP responsible

Trudeau is being peppered with questions about the lingering controversy

Germany upsets Canada in Olympic men’s hockey

Germany 4 Canada 3; Germans play OAR for gold; Canada and Czechs go for bronze

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Most Read