Fire chiefs and municipalities around the province say a lack of regulation and oversight of residential cannabis grow operations is putting people at risk, as evidenced by a fatal fire at a licensed medical grow op in Surrey this week.
Regulations and compliance are top priorities for cities as the legalization of recreational marijuana nears in the coming months. A provincial framework is expected in the coming weeks.
“The (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) has been flawed since its inception,” said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz, who is a vice-president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. “The program has led to a proliferation of grow operations in residential neighbourhoods. The operations are frequently out of compliance with our bylaws and provincial health and safety and building regulations.