Neighbours Michelle Nicholls, Susan Hagedorn and May Leeper said they have met several times with representatives of Canopy, the operator of the large marijuana growing operation near their homes, but the odour problem remains. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

‘Smell that?’ Langley residents complain about marijuana greenhouse

MLAs send letter to federal attorney general and health minister urging crackdown

At the top of the hill overlooking the giant Canopy Growth marijuana greenhouse in Langley, Michelle Nicholls was explaining how the smell from the operation interferes with her enjoyment of her property when the wind shifted.

“Smell that?” Nicholls said, as a wave of the characteristic odour briefly washed over her and neighbours Susan Hagedorn and May Leeper.

“And this is a good day.”

Ever since the greenhouse began growing marijuana, the residents who live near the sprawling facility on zero avenue near 264 Street said they have been forced indoors at times because of the smell.

They said the odour was the worst when the weather was warm and the greenhouse is harvesting plants.

“It’s intense,” Hagedorn said.

Leeper said it is so bad on some days, they stay indoors.

“We go inside,” Leeper said.

“You close the doors and windows.”

Over months of talks with the company, a number of attempts have been made to reduce the smell by Canopy, but none have been especially effective, the residents said.

For awhile, the company was using what the residents called “misting cannons” to block the smell, but the neighbours said it didn’t make much difference.

On Sunday, they showed the Langley Advance Times what appeared to be a new misting system consisting of pipes running along the outside roof of the greenhouse.

They were not optimistic it will have much impact, and they welcomed word that Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, together with Delta South MLA Ian Paton, was calling for a federal crackdown, saying smelly marijuana greenhouses must either fix the problem or be closed down.

“I’m very thankful for Rich Coleman and Ian Paton for taking a stand for their constituents,” Hagedorn said.,

In a joint letter to federal Attorney General David Lametti and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas, the two Liberal MLAs said they are writing to “lodge a formal complaint” on behalf of their constituents about the “constant odour being emitted by licensed cannabis businesses in our riding.”

They argue that under the federal regulations, greenhouse operators who grow marijuana must do more to control odour emissions.

Coleman said the wording of the law is clear.

Under “good production practices” the regulations call for “a system that filters air to prevent the escape of odours.”

“The legislation says they have to control it [odours],” Coleman said.

“I want the law enforced.”

READ MORE: Aldergrove marijuana cultivation impacts quality of life for neighbours

READ MORE: Commercial cannabis dominates talk at Langley town hall

The letter lists four “locations in need of of immediate enforcement,” three in Delta and one in Langley, the large Canopy Growth greenhouse in Aldergrove near the Canada-U.S. border.

“We are requesting your immediate enforcement to ensure licensees comply with the conditions of their licence and ensure their facilities are ‘equipped with a system that filters air to prevent the escape of odours.’ If they fail to comply, appropriate fines and closure must be enforced.”

“It’s frustrating,” Coleman said.

“These poor people in the area are being disenfranchised from their homes [because of the smell].”

Coleman thinks no new permits for marijuana greenhouses should be issued until the problem has been solved.

“We should take a pause,” Coleman said.

“Somewhere, we have to find a way [ to eliminate odours]”

Langley Advance Times has reached out to Canopy for comment.

When the issue of the smell from the Aldergrove facility first arose, a spokesman for the company acknowledged that “we need to find a solution to that and have already taken some steps to address the issue.”

Those steps included equipment that releases a fine, scented mist which is then dispersed by high powered fans, something people who live nearby said was not effective.

While the region near Canopy hasn’t been part of his riding since redistribution, Coleman said the problem affects everyone who lives in agricultural areas.

Coleman also noted Glen Valley residents have expressed concern about a greenhouse scheduled to open soon in their area.

The building site is across the street from the Blaauw Eco Forest, with its endangered species and fragile bog environments.

At a Langley Township town hall meeting last month, several Glen Valley residents expressed concern about several issues ranging from odour and excessive nighttime light to the possible impact of water use on the local aquifer.

Mayor Jack Froese told the meeting that under existing laws, the Township can’t ban cannabis growing.

The three Delta locations cited in the letter from Coleman and Paton are Rubicon Organics on 104th Street, Canopy Growth on Hornby Drive and Emerald Health Cannabis on 80th Street.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

Neighbours Michelle Nicholls, Susan Hagedorn and May Leeper said they have met several times with representatives of Canopy, the operator of the large marijuana growing operation near their homes, but the odour problem remains. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Just Posted

Upper Clearwater Fire Brigade to host 2019 Season Kick Off

Event will help raise money for needed equipment so group is ready for wildfire season

New walking paths will make community safer, more accessible

District of Clearwater anticipates construction will begin in the late summer or early fall

Blue River helicopter skiing entrepreneur to receive honorary doctorate from TRU

Mike Wiegele will receive his degree during convocation ceremonies being held next month

Clearwater RCMP report

RCMP responded to 48 calls for service last week.

Annual May Day parade offers weekend fun

Roughly 150 people show up to check out the procession

BREAKING: Court says B.C. can’t restrict oil shipments in key case for Trans Mountain

A five-judge Appeal Court panel agreed unanimously that B.C.’s proposed legislation was not constitutional

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Nisga’a Nation tourism industry hits the road

First pilot tour to the Nass Valley is set for this summer with Indigenous Tourism BC

Most Read