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Winnipeg neighbourhood reacts to residential cannabis grow-op

WATCH: Ross Eadie, councillor for the Mynarski ward, says the city needs to have better control over where Health Canada-approved cannabis growers can set up shop.

A group of Winnipeg residents are upset over their neighbour’s latest pot project.

Winnipeg neighbours fuming over legal grow-op
Winnipeg neighbours fuming over legal grow-op

A house on a quiet street in the Maples stinks, say the people who live nearby.

“I thought it was like a family of skunks, but now it’s becoming more and more pronounced, every day there is a smell,” a neighbour says.

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Residents circulated a letter to neighbours warning that the house is vacant and being used as a medical cannabis grow-operation.

READ MORE: Aurora Cannabis plant working to contain skunky smell at Edmonton airport

The operation, which is licensed by Health Canada, is perfectly legal, and that has area residents fuming.

“There’s a lot of kids around here and we’ve got a lot of new families with young children,” one neighbour told Global News.

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Neighbours say the biggest worry is the crime, fearing the smell of marijuana could attract criminals looking to breaking in.

“I don’t think a residential [neigbourhood] is meant for this, we were never —  none of the street — were never ever, consulted.”

READ MORE: Legal pot in Manitoba — here’s a refresher on rules

City Coun. Ross Eadie says there is a “loop-hole” in legislation that allows medical cannabis grow ops in residential neighbourhoods, and that he wants the city to take steps to close it.

Eadie says his office has received a lot of complaints about legal pot growers, from people concerned about criminal activity or health risks.

While he does not see a problem with people growing small amounts of pot for medical or personal use, there should be zoning bylaws to deal with bigger operations within city limits.

“We’ve had lots of complaints about these high-level facilities,” Eadie said.

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“If you’re medical-licensed and you get a certificate to produce … that is five plants. Five plants, I don’t think is bothering anybody. You don’t need a special ventilation system … but 200 plants — that’s crazy, that’s ridiculous — that should be in an M1 (zoned area).”

READ MORE: Weed is legal: This is how you grow it at home

Eadie plans to introduce a motion to limit the number of plants one can grow in a residential area, forcing high-level growers to move to areas zoned for manufacturing.

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Eadie’s motion will be introduced at a community committee meeting May 7, and forwarded to the standing committee for property development thereafter.