Board volunteers meet with government over cannabis issue

Members of the FVREB’s Government Relations (GR) committee have been meeting with elected officials over the past weeks and months to express their concerns and share information about the hazards of cannabis home growing. The volunteers have been well received by a cross section of leaders on the political landscape, representing the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

“We have opened doors to several key political leaders in the Fraser Valley to discuss the cannabis issue,” said GR committee member AlNoor Teja, who has tried to initiate as many meetings as possible.

“Our committee has held nearly two dozen meetings with people in the municipal, provincial and federal governments. I think the discussions have gone well and I believe there’s a better understanding of our concerns because of our efforts. I am hopeful that the decision makers are paying attention because our concerns are the same as the public’s.”

Though much of the dialogue on the cannabis issue has been on who sells cannabis, to whom they can sell it, and where, organized real estate has sought to focus attention on the safety of homes where cannabis is grown.

Given the practice of growing up to four cannabis plants per household will become legal under federal law this October, there is concern about the risks this will create for fire, mold and chemical contamination that could impact human health as well as the value of these homes.

Ensuring Healthy Homes

The GR committee shared factual information with government leaders that is based on research conducted for BCREA’s by the University of the Fraser Valley in a report titled, “Ensuring Healthy Homes for British Columbians: Toward a Provincial Standard for the Remediation of Residential Properties Used in Drug Production.”  

Those who have not been around the FVREB for long may have missed the years that our directors and committee volunteers, starting as far back as 2002, were pressing governments to develop a comprehensive disclosure and remediation process for illegal grow homes.

In 2011, the FVREB asked BCREA to take the issue of drug operations to boards and elected officials across the province. BCREA has been lobbying the Province to address REALTORS®’ concerns about health and safety risks associated with drug homes ever since.

However, with the imminent legalization of cannabis, any impacts from widespread home growing of cannabis may demand closer scrutiny. This is when the work of the real estate boards such as the FVREB and BCREA will likely pay off. The issues have been identified and the solutions put forward — repeatedly.

In the meantime, the Board’s Safe Grow Homes campaign has covered several aspects of cannabis legalization pertaining to cultivation risks, property disclosures, city hall records, remediation, and stigma of grow homes.

To read more about these issues, go to NewsReal and type “cannabis” in the search bar.