Marijuana Grow-op Remediation
Pinchin Can Return a Former Grow-Op Property to a Healthy and Legally Compliant Environment - Safely, Effectively and Quickly
Pinchin’s Certified Industrial Hygienists offer complete assessment and remediation management services for successful rehabilitation of marijuana grow-op properties.
What’s Next After an Order to Remedy an Unsafe Building?
Marijuana grow-ops are more common than you think, with many unsuspecting landlords and property managers falling victim to these illegal and potentially dangerous operations.
If a police raid on your leased property reveals a marijuana grow-op, you will likely receive an Order to Remedy an Unsafe Building that describes the conditions you’ll need to meet before you can resolve your case. The electrical supply to the building will also most likely have been disconnected.
To restore your property to a healthy and legally compliant state, you must provide the municipality with an environmental assessment stating that the building is: a) fit for occupancy, b) free from biological and chemical hazards, and c) structurally sound. The ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) will also require this information to turn the power back on.
What’s Included in the Environmental Assessment?
- A physical assessment of the property to determine:
- Extent of fungal (usually mould) contamination and its source(s)
- Any indoor pesticide contamination and its source(s)
- Extent of water and indoor moisture damage
- A remediation plan to mitigate the above
- A verification report that re-evaluates the environmental conditions, post remediation
Who Can Perform the Environmental Assessment?
Unfortunately there are currently no detailed requirements on who can undertake an environmental assessment or the necessary cleanup. This results in wide variation in quality of both the assessment and cleanup.
The ESA however requires that a Certified Industrial Hygienist (American Board of Industrial Hygiene) or a Registered Occupational Hygienist (Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygiene), or a Professional Engineer with a M.Sc. in Occupational Hygiene sign off on the project prior to turning the power back on.
Pinchin Ltd. has one of the largest staffs of Certified Industrial Hygienists in Canada, with many years of experience and the most up-to-date training. Our Certified Industrial Hygienists are actively involved in all aspects of each grow-op project ensuring the quality of the assessment work. Some competing firms simply go to third party consultants for signoff.
Pinchin Ltd. understands the cost implications for landlords associated with the discovery of a marijuana grow operations. Landlords are concerned both for the costs of consulting and cleanup but also the future saleability of the property, and the loss of rental income. In order to address the concerns Pinchin offers the following solutions:
- Pinchin will provide a quote detailing both the costs if no environmental problems are discovered and if remedial work is required. This way you understand up front what the full cost of consulting will be without surprises.
- Pinchin will work with you to get competitive pricing from qualified and experienced contractors ensuring both that you pay a fair price, and that the work is undertaken in a timely manner by contractors familiar with this type of work.
- Pinchin’s depth of experience dealing with numerous municipalities helps ensure our final report will be accepted allowing the space to be re-occupied or sold without delay after the report has been submitted.
What Steps does a Pinchin Assessment Include?
Our comprehensive assessment includes:
- History/review of the property from the current owner
- Thorough inspection of the property
- Sampling and laboratory analysis of moulds and asbestos as necessary in our in-house AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP accredited lab, one of the five AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP accredited labs in Canada.
- Full written report, including findings, photos, conclusions and recommendations
- Remediation plan if necessary, including management of mould abatement contracting with our established, qualified contractors
- Post-remediation assessment and air testing to document that the cleanup work has been completed effectively.
- Completion of the necessary ESA sign off documentation.
What are the Dangers Presented by a Grow-Op Property?
If not remediated safely and effectively, former marijuana grow-op properties can be highly dangerous to the health and safety of occupants, and even neighbours. Some of the more common risks include:
- Airborne contaminants from improper changes made to furnace venting or from chemicals.
- Health effects and allergies caused by moulds and fungi
- Increased probability of fire from overloaded electrical systems, illegal wiring and extreme heat generated by high intensity lighting
- Potential for electrocution from illegal electrical bypasses
- Possible structural damage caused by grower’s improper renovations
Pinchin’s marijuana grow-op assessment and remediation services are available across Canada. We also offer grow-op assessment/remediation services to financial and insurance companies, real estate firms and home owners.
Please contact Valerie Johnston, B.Sc., E.E.A.D., LEED AP by phone or email via our Indoor Air Quality & Mould Contact Form.
Tips for Landlord and Property Managers
- Screen prospective tenants and check their references thoroughly
- Record and check identification details
- Landlords should introduce themselves to the neighbours and let them know
that their property is a rental unit
- Provide neighbours with your telephone number and ask them to report
suspicious behaviour to you immediately
- Advise tenants verbally and in the lease that you check your property regularly,
with proper notice
- Don’t accept cash or post dated cheques for rent payments, personally
pick up the rent cheque each month
- Make it a requirement of the lease that tenants have full insurance
- Enquire as to which tenant will be registering for hydro and telephone charges
- Be on location when the tenants move in and reinforce any special conditions
of the lease at this time
- Be a conscientious landlord – Grow House Operators will not risk losing their
crop and equipment if they know the landlord checks the property regularly
Source: Toronto Police Service pamphlet, “Marihuana Grow House Operations: What You Need to Know” Read More