A legal grow house in Ontario has uprooted plans for a lottery prize home.
On Feb. 16, the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation announced their decision to pull plans to award a home on 39 Jeffrey Nihda Crescent in Markham when they discovered there was a legal medical marijuana cultivator nearby. In a news release, the foundation said, "The growing of a large number of plants in the house has resulted in an intrusive odour in the neighbourhood."
The house in question is the same one that neighbors complained about in February 2015, when City News reported that a homeowner on the same street had a license from Health Canada to grow 146 plants for personal use.
Neighbors want the grower to move away from the neighborhood, which is home to many families. Michael Lane - a resident living near the grow house - told The Star, "No one is really questioning the legality of the operation but this is an area with lots of kids, an elementary school nearby, and many families that are affected by the smell."
But moving the grow-op is easier said than done. In 2014, the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper tried to shut down all home growers. But an injunction allowed many patients to continue growing until a federal court settled the matter. That means the growing operation in Markham can't be shut down.
It can't be moved. Health Canada told City News that the patient would need a new growing license, which the government no longer gives out. So the grower has to stay in the neighborhood if she or he wants to continue cultivating the medicinal cannabis.
As for the prize home, the Princess Margaret foundation has replaced that award with a cash prize of equivalent value - $1.285-million - plus a $25,000 bonus, making the total prize worth over $1.3 million. The Toronto Star reports that the foundation's decision received support from the property builders and other groups involved in the project.
For more on the foundation's decision, check out the CTV News report:
And here's City News' report on the grow house (from Feb. 2015):