The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) wants the province to introduce more protections for homebuyers from properties damaged by cannabis grow-ops — and it wants those changes made before recreational cannabis is legalized later this year.
“Make no bones about it, as of this summer more people will be growing pot at home,” warned OREA president David Reid at a media conference at the Ontario legislature Monday.
Reid pointed to statistics from police in Denver, Colorado — where the drug has been legal since 2014 — suggesting one in 10 homes in that city is being used to grow cannabis.
“Ontario must take steps to protect homeowners and prospective homebuyers about the health and safety risks associated with former marijuana grow-ops,” said Reid.
The head of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Ralph Shaw, said he’s seen what can happen to homes damaged by cannabis grow-ops.
“It’s the mould and the fungus and the moisture that causes the problem … and it can destroy the frame structure of a house. So you’re into not just tens of thousands, but certainly $50,000 to $100,000 isn’t uncommon to clean up and retrofit a home that’s been used as a grow-op, so it’s very serious,” Shaw said.