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Thread: Nanaimo and grow ops seem to go together

  1. #1
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    Default Nanaimo and grow ops seem to go together

    Moved our family to Nanaimo six months ago, and we hare all enjoyed it, but we are starting to be concerned about our choice. We carefully selected a neighbourhood that was considered very safe, lots of trees, good size lots and a feeling of community. We bought a house close to the Stephenson Point area. Two weeks after we moved, our truck was broken into. This rattled us a bit, as the truck was parked close to the house in the driveway.

    Last week we had cops swarming around. Our neighbours (who we met, and seemed like a nice young couple), were running a grow op. We feel stupid. How could we not know? This seems to be a common thing in Nanaimo. Maybe the public needs to be made more aware of signs that could indicate that this type of activity may be happening... because it doesn't just happen in the "bad" neighbourhoods. It's anywhere.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Therise View Post
    Moved our family to Nanaimo six months ago, and we hare all enjoyed it, but we are starting to be concerned about our choice. We carefully selected a neighbourhood that was considered very safe, lots of trees, good size lots and a feeling of community. We bought a house close to the Stephenson Point area. Two weeks after we moved, our truck was broken into. This rattled us a bit, as the truck was parked close to the house in the driveway.

    Last week we had cops swarming around. Our neighbours (who we met, and seemed like a nice young couple), were running a grow op. We feel stupid. How could we not know? This seems to be a common thing in Nanaimo. Maybe the public needs to be made more aware of signs that could indicate that this type of activity may be happening... because it doesn't just happen in the "bad" neighbourhoods. It's anywhere.
    I actually think that the ones in the "bad" neighborhoods are on the more harmless side of things. From my time living in the lower mainland I can tell you that the people who can afford a big operation in the first place are the ones to be worried about. Although I don't do any drugs, like most people I find pot to be mainly harmless. It's better a grow op than a meth lab!

  3. #3

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    Grow ops are everywhere Therise - all across Canada. I found this article interesting although I can't see a date on it. - Marijuana Grow Operations
    Calgary homebuyers hunting for reduced prices on remodelled former marijuana-growing operations may be getting more trouble than they bargained for.

    Homes renovated to clean up mould and indoor air problems caused by defunct grow ops may still be unfit to live in, says a federal researcher who will study the problem this fall.

    Fungicides, insecticides, solvents and other chemicals used in drug-making operations are absorbed by drywall, carpeting, wood, subfloors and concrete basement floors, says Virginia Salares, a senior researcher with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
    The chemicals may also be found in backyards, where they are frequently dumped.

    "People cannot take for granted it's safe," says Salares. Vapours from chemicals can permeate the entire house, not just the rooms where the plants were grown.

    The health risks vary, depending on the concentrations of chemicals used, how long the grow op was in operation, and the age, immune systems and health conditions of the people who move in.

    "You wouldn't want to put an infant or a child under those conditions, being exposed to gases," Salares said.

    Calgary police say they raid 120 to 140 residential grow ops each year. A typical bust seizes 50,000 pot plants worth upwards of $60 million annually.

    The homes, which are predominately located in the city's suburbs, are usually unoccupied, according to Staff Sgt. Monty Sparrow.

    "It's pretty steady. We've gone from mom-and-pop operations to an organized crime situation," said Sparrow.

    The Calgary Health Region posts homes condemned as grow ops on its website. Former city grow ops are identified on Internet real estate listings disclosing the toxic past. One home in Harvest Hills has a reduced price reflecting its drug-house history.

    Police estimate there are about 50,000 grow ops in Canada, although the exact number varies.
    Grow op homes typically sell for 25 to 30 per cent off market value. Despite the risks, lower prices attract buyers, says Ottawa real estate agent Richard Rutkowski, who recently represented the seller and buyer of a former grow op that had been on the market for two years.

    "There's a buyer for everything," he says. "Ironically, the (nearby) hydro lines posed more of a deterrent than the actual grow house."

    Real estate agents have to ensure everyone involved in a sale is fully aware of the home's state, says Rutkowski. He estimates that for every 10 people interested in a property, eight will back out when they learn it's a former grow op.

    Other agents refuse to list grow ops, and counsel their clients to avoid them.

    "There are too many unknowns, especially with the chemicals," says Winnipeg realtor Cindi French. "I personally would never consider them a good deal at any price."

    Salares completed a study this year into mould and indoor air quality in rehabilitated grow ops. It noted that while police succeed in identifying and seizing many grow ops, marijuana growers often avoid detection by buying and selling houses quickly.

    "The homes are superficially repaired and sold to unsuspecting buyers, who may be unable to locate the previous owners," the report states.

    Growers typically pack hundreds of plants into small spaces with high moisture and no natural light or air circulation. As a result, the plants get fungal diseases and insect infestations that are treated with high doses of chemical pesticides. Growers are unlikely to use organic solutions or dispose of chemicals in an approved fashion, Salares says.

    "High productivity is their goal: the most plants in the shortest time possible."

    Salares is now studying which chemicals are being used in grow ops, how they're stored, how various surfaces absorb and give off toxic vapours, and how a house can be rehabilitated.

    Bob Linney, communications director for the Canadian Real Estate Association, says guidelines for rehabilitating a former grow op and standards for air quality will be invaluable to real estate agents.

    Rehabilitating a former grow op can cost anywhere from $3,000 to more than $100,000, depending on how long it was used, how long it stood empty and what changes the marijuana growers made, says Marie Dyck, who worked with Salares on the first study.

    People who knowingly buy former grow ops because they're good deals should think twice, adds
    Salares.

  4. #4

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    I found this statement very overwhelming - Police estimate there are about 50,000 grow ops in Canada, although the exact number varies.

  5. #5
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    I agree that pot is not that harmless. Haven't done any for about 30 years, but always thought it was less dangerous than abuse of alcohol. But it is illegal and we were just so surprised and made us realize how common place it seems to be here.

  6. #6
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    That is very interesting! Kinda feel sorry for the owners of the home (it was rented). They will have to absorb the cost, I'm sure.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheena View Post
    I found this statement very overwhelming - Police estimate there are about 50,000 grow ops in Canada, although the exact number varies.
    I'd bet the number is actually way higher. For one thing, I hear there are parts of the senior citizens' brigade, old-time gardeners who never bought bedding plants in garden shops in their lives but grew them in their basements, like my father did, who are now supplementing their pensions with grow ops. Who'd ever suspect those nice old folks down the street, with a beautiful garden and decades of growing their own plants from seed under grow lights? The RCMP sure doesn't seem to. And since the police keep an eye on hydro bills, if the senior growers' hydro bills don't suddenly spike, there's no reason to red flag them. They've been growing petunias, zinnias, tomatoes, etc., in their homes forever. They just switch to more profitable crops.

  8. #8
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    Thanks. I needed a laugh... I strongly visualized a busy hive of grey haired left-over-hippies talking, petting and watering their prized pot plants! There's probably thousands of senior citizens just having a great time growing their own pot "for medicinal purposes" of course. And soon-to-be seniors from the 60's era will be flying below the radar too! However, I'm not sure we could call those "grow ops" of the profitable kind. Apparently modern operations are very expensive to start and run, use sophisticated technology and often include water diversion and pirated hydro, plus equipment that masks marijuana odour. This type of operation is often in link with organized crime. Although occasional pot use is harmless (in my humble opinion), a grow op business is not. Double standards?

  9. #9
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    narcotics-crime has no geographic constraints. When I lived in vancouver, we bought a house that was used as a grow up. So we got it on the cheap. It was located in burnaby lake area just off govt street where houses normally go for over 2.5 million. We got it on the cheap for 700k. Goes to show that

    grow ups can happen anywhere. and where there are drugs, you get the law of unintended consequences...all the peripheral crime that goes with the drug trade.

    If you suspect call the cops. I know a few who are on the drug interdiction team. frustrating work.
    Doing bad things to bad people, since 1998 http://www.badassdadgearreview.com

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Therise View Post
    Thanks. I needed a laugh... I strongly visualized a busy hive of grey haired left-over-hippies talking, petting and watering their prized pot plants! There's probably thousands of senior citizens just having a great time growing their own pot "for medicinal purposes" of course. And soon-to-be seniors from the 60's era will be flying below the radar too! However, I'm not sure we could call those "grow ops" of the profitable kind. Apparently modern operations are very expensive to start and run, use sophisticated technology and often include water diversion and pirated hydro, plus equipment that masks marijuana odour. This type of operation is often in link with organized crime. Although occasional pot use is harmless (in my humble opinion), a grow op business is not. Double standards?
    Laugh away. I'm not going into a point-by-point explanation and description, or a location. These elderly couples are sub-contractors, for lack of a better word. With current laws, grow ops aren't going away, and organized crime will always be with us.

    I don't do weed myself, never have, but it seems to me that legalizing it is the way to go. Sell it in government liquor stores, along with the perhaps more popular and pretty certainly more acceptable drugs: wine, beer, and liquor. We'd save a heck of a lot of taxpayers' money spent on policing and court proceedings, and we'd be raking in the profits.

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