Alberta taking new steps to tackle marijuana grow-ops

The Alberta government is implementing several recommendations aimed at protecting the health and safety of residents from marijuana grow-ops.

Province accepts 37 recommendations to address grow-op dangers

Minister of Justice Jonathan Denis says he will not be seeking PC Party leadership. (CBC)

The Alberta government is implementing 37 recommendations aimed at protecting the health and safety of residents from marijuana grow-ops.

The recommendations include improving the sharing of information between police agencies and municipalities so local officials are aware of known grow-ops.

The recommendations were put forward in the Grow Op Free Alberta Final Recommendations Report prepared for Justice Alberta.

"The recommendations provide a foundation for a provincial response to govern the inspection and, perhaps more importantly the remediation, of residential grow operations to ensure that former grow operations are properly reclaimed," said Jonathan Denis, the minister of Justice.

He said the proposal calls for placing a caveat on a property that has been identified as a grow-op and only removing that caveat if the property has been fully reclaimed.

"That would encourage private sector developers to come in and deal with the particular property," said Denis.

Information sharing proposed

The report recommends several steps for improving the disclosure of information about grow-ops such as considering options that would require real estate agents, when they have knowledge that a property was used as a grow op, to disclose that information to potential buyers.

Another recommendation suggests exploring ways for utility companies to advise police about electricity theft, without violating the privacy of a customer.

The provincial government says it will move ahead immediately on recommendations about information sharing.

Other recommendations will take longer to implement, such as establishing air testing guidelines as part of the grow-op remediation process.

The province says this report does not deal with the decriminalization of marijuana, which is a federal responsibility.

Calgary police reported two major grow-op busts in the city within the past six months.

Police estimated their combined worth at about $2 million.