Marijuana grow operations present a number of hazards to public safety.
Common components of an illegal grow operation:
- Electrical bypass, power lines, secondary distribution panels and transformers
- Foundations are cut gain access to the main power source
- Roof truss and floor joist alterations
- High intensity grow lamps
- Complex wiring systems and timers
- Watering systems, humidifiers and large water baths (for cooling)
- Air handling systems with filters and scrubbers
- Tanks containing chemical fertilizer blends, pumps and hoses
- Pesticides and applicators
- Carbon dioxide generator systems or furnace bypass systems
- Fuel systems for carbon dioxide generators
Identified hazards and dangers to public safety
- Fire authorities estimate that a grow op is 24 times more likely to catch fire than a typical home
- Poisonous gases – gases are circulated inside the house and vented to the neighbourhood
- Explosions – occur as a result of the solvents and oxygen used
Power outages to the neighbourhood
- Electrocution and booby trap hazards for emergency responders (Police, Fire, EMS)
- Chemicals are clandestinely disposed of down the household drains into The City's water system
Marijuana grow operations can contribute to a decline of the market value of neighbouring properties. The City of Calgary requires that all properties identified as a marijuana grow op be remediated properly or removed.
Owners of Health Canada-licensed legal medical marijuana grow operations must comply with all applicable City of Calgary bylaws and Alberta's safety codes.
Alberta Health Services provides detailed information on Health Inspection Orders
for grow operations in Calgary and surrounding areas.