Some Aldergrove residents say a government-approved cannabis farm is making their neighbourhood miserable.
Steve Driese bought his Aldergrove property eight years ago, in search of a quiet place to raise his family.
But he says a new neighbour has turned his slice of paradise into a place he’d rather escape.
“You put a lot of money and a lot of time and effort into a property, and within six months, somebody can come and ruin your total enjoyment of it,” he said.
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Driese said noise is a constant problem.
“The noise at night is just deafening; it keeps you from sleeping.”
Then there’s the smell.
“It’s essential oils blowing into air to try and neutralize the odour of the cannabis, so that’s why you get the smell of Febreze and then you get the smell of skunk.”
The noise and odours are coming from Canopy Growth Corporation, a large, licensed grow operation that took over the greenhouses that were once used to grow peppers.
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At 30 acres, the facility is now one of the largest of its kind in the world.
“There are days you can’t open the windows or the doors, and the smell still gets in the house,” Driese said.
Jordan Sinclair of Canopy Growth Corporation said they take such concerns seriously.
“We don’t want to be a nuisance to the neighbours,” he said.
“We’ve tried a number of different technologies and we’ve made a number of investments — we’re up past the $1-million mark in terms of monetary investment — to be able to deal with this problem.”
The company says it met Health Canada regulations on air filtration in order to obtain a licence.
Health Canada says noise complaints are the municpality’s concern, but in this case, since the facility is on agricultural land, the province sets the rules.
Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese said his municipality and others have asked “the province for a moratorium on further grow operations in the agricultural area until they get the regulations set, until the industry can deal with the problems.”