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

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service called to Doumont Road fire

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Say no to plastic straws

Straws make drinking frappuccinos easier, but they kill sea creatures, says letter writer

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Wheelchair basketball in Nanaimo accessible to all abilities

Harbour City Slam play day introduced newcomers to the sport

Speed limit lowered at Departure Bay Beach

Speed limit reduced to 40 km/h until the fall

District of Lantzville making changes around how it spends surplus money

Changes would ‘hamstring’ council’s ability to manage money, argues councillor

Nanaimo outdoor enthusiasts petitioning as military cracks down on trespassers

Canadian Forces announces it is enforcing the boundaries of its weapons range on Westwood Ridges

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Most Read