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April 9, 2018

Home buyers need better protections with legalization of marijuana on the horizon

OREA releases recommendations to protect consumers against the risks involved in purchasing a former grow-op

TORONTO, ON, April 9, 2018 – Growing marijuana in a home can pose significant health and safety issues for unsuspecting home buyers. With the legalization of marijuana looming, there are no rules in place to protect a home buyer from purchasing a former grow operation. In its Action Plan for Cannabis Legalization released today, the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is urging the Provincial Government to bring forward measures that will ensure home buyers are protected from the health and safety risks associated with former grow ops.

“Legalization is going to lead to more home pot farming,” said David Reid, OREA President. “Growing marijuana indoors can lead to the growth of mold and fungus, which can have serious health risks for seniors and young children. Policy makers must take action to protect Ontario home owners and address the long-term impact of legal marijuana cultivation on Ontario’s housing stock.”

In its Action Plan, OREA proposes five policy changes to protect consumers from the risks involved in purchasing a former grow operation, including:

  • Designate illegal grow operations as unsafe under the Building Code Act.
  • Mandate that illegal cannabis operations are inspected by a municipal building official.
  • Require municipalities to register remediation work orders on the title of a former grow operation.
  • Mandate that all licensed home inspectors receive training on how to spot the signs of a former marijuana grow operation.
  • Restrict the number of plants that a home owner can grow from four to one in units 1,000 square feet or smaller.

Legalization of marijuana in other jurisdictions, like Denver, Colorado, has led to a significant increase in cultivation inside private dwellings. Moreover, the RCMP does not believe that legalization will eliminate the involvement of organized crime in the cultivation and sale of illegal cannabis.

“History has shown us that some shady property owners will go to great lengths to hide the signs of a former grow operation,” said Tim Hudak, OREA CEO. “This makes it difficult for Realtors, home inspectors and unsuspecting home buyers to spot former grow ops. While REALTORS® would prefer to see no pot plants being grown in Ontario homes, the federal government has made home cultivation legal. We’re calling on the province to ensure young families are protected when they make the largest investment of their lives.”

More information is available at, www.protectontariohomes.ca.

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For more information contact:

Katarina Markovinovic-Praljak

Head of Communications & Media Relations

katarinam@orea.com


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