Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
TV station WDIV Detroit recently wondered what the source of a mysterious glow near its across-the-river neighbour Windsor, Ont. The discovery was less of a puzzle as it was the lights from weed greenhouses upstaging stars and creating a colourful glow.
With the reporter noting the glow looked like an eternal sunset, he said it clearly wasn’t the sun or the moon.
“Regardless of the shade, it’s terribly bright,” reporter Tim Pamplin noted of the glow from nearby Leamington, albeit about 40 miles (64 km) away from downtown Detroit. At the base of the lights are thousands of acres of greenhouses, many of them used for growing weed, Pamplin said in the report.
The source of the illumination may have been a surprise to people on the street in Windsor, but not Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald. “We are basically the greenhouse cannabis capital,” MacDonald said.
The situation has proved contentious between some greenhouse operators and local residents, with some arguing that the light pollution has become a public nuisance.
As of last month, Leamington was exploring whether or not to follow in the steps of Kingsville, which gave the green light to light pollution and odour suppression bylaw to answer greenhouse-related issues, the Windsor Star reports. The bylaw allows for fines if the light from cannabis cultivation shines on neighbouring properties or into the sky at night.
At the time, Leamington council voted to get more information from growers. Among other things, the current bylaw notes council may take action to close all or part of a cannabis operation if it is proved on a balance of probabilities that its activities “constitute a public nuisance or cause or contribute to activities or circumstances constituting a public nuisance in the vicinity of the premises.”
The glow that provides a nightly lightshow for Detroit residents is not a new phenomenon either north or south of the border.
CBC reported two years ago that Aphria noted in an email response that the lights the company currently uses in its new greenhouses “are LED lights, which is a closer match to the light plants use for photosynthesis — and these lights have a purple colour to them.”