Identify Legal Marijuana Grow-op Sites, Calgary Asks Ottawa

Calgary officials are asking to be kept in the loop about medical marijuana being grown in the city.

A motion passed by council last week asks Health Canada to disclose the locations of licensed growing operations.

Currently, neither city police nor city safety regulators are told where legal grow-ops are located.

Stephane Lessard, director of Health Canada’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis, said sharing the information is easier said than done.

“We have to follow the law. And in this case, the applicable legislation is the privacy act, and also under the terms of the regulations which underpin our medical marijuana program.”

“So both those regulations and the privacy act combine to make it very difficult for us to share information,” he said.

City authorities shut down a licensed grow op last month after discovering it in a house. Despite being licensed, the site was in violation of numerous health and safety codes.

Lessard said if police suspect a grow-op, they have to call Health Canada to see if it’s legal.

“We have a service that operates 24 hours a day, to provide that information to law enforcement. And law enforcement, detachments, either municipal or RCMP or others, are quite aware of this service…,” he said.

Health Canada has 15 inspectors who keep track of more than 4,800 operations nationwide but officials won’t say how often legal grow-ops are checked.

– Article from CBC News.