How to Wreck Your Home with Cannabis Plants

Four cannabis plants can wreck your home, says a Canadian realtors group.

Maybe that’s true, maybe it isn’t.

One thing is for sure, and you can confirm this with any mother, 4 kids and two dogs will definitely wreck your home.

Of course, give it time, the dogs will pass away and the kids will grow up and move out. Then, after a few repairs and renovations, the house is like brand new. Ready for destruction by grandchildren.

I don’t see Michael Bourque, head of the Canadian Real Estate Association, calling for the banning of children or capping out the number of pets per household.

But why not? He testified to the Senate Committee on Legalization that cannabis plants promote the spread of mould and fungus throughout the ventilation system.

He thinks the state should suspend the home-growing aspect of legalization until the provinces can pass “tougher” housing regulations.

“We question if personal cultivation is even necessary,” Bourque told the Senate.

Well, I question whether a Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is necessary.

Since just about everyone can become a real estate agent these days, it helps to have a private association of professionals certified with the REALTOR® symbol. 

This is exactly the kind of self-regulation the economy needs. Anyone is free to use any real estate agent they want (even do the job themselves) but through the CREA, individuals are (at least in theory) guaranteed quality work.

Of course, under the CREA’s watch, the central bank has cut interest rates without substantial savings as backing to justify this manually lowering of, perhaps, the most important price in the economy.

And they stood back while the federal government and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation rewrote the rules to ensure the cheap money from the central bank got funnelled into real estate.

So again, I question the validity of CREA. If they can’t even fathom a housing bubble or understand what caused it, can we really expect them to have any knowledge whatsoever about growing cannabis plants?

Since there is already a “well-funded, well-capitalized industry,” Bourque believes individuals shouldn’t need to grow their own.

“The legislation ignores evidence that growing cannabis indoors can be hazardous to the home, and health of home owners.”


Perhaps Bourque should familiarize himself with Allard v. Canada, since, unlike elections where lies and propaganda rule, Canada’s court system is still (somewhat) free of the postmodern cancer.

Here’s some of what Justice Michael L. Phelan wrote in his judgement: 

“Dr. Miller was the Defendant’s expert witness on mould. He is an expert on fungal physiology. He stated that marihuana plants release a significantly larger amount of moisture than most houseplants – in particular, one marihuana plant adds as much moisture as approximately seven to ten house plants… Dr. Miller stated that mould damage in houses can cause negative health impacts and that plants are only one possible source of moisture (along with showers, cooking and other common domestic activities). Dr. Miller’s evidence establishes that mould, while an issue, is one which can be handled without undue difficulty or complexity.”

“Mr. Schut – a rebuttal witness of the Plaintiffs on mould remediation – was adduced as an expert in mould prevention techniques and technologies, and remediation of mould infested buildings. He is the manager of Enviromold, a company that specializes in preventing and controlling mould and remediating premises that have suffered from mould damage. He has inspected and been in charge of cleaning up and remediating over 50 marihuana grow operations in his 10 year career. In his view, there is no difference between growing 20 marihuana plants and 20 tomato plants in an indoor garden.”

“The evidence establishes that mould issues are often local in nature but more importantly are remediable – a matter which is more amenable to local regulation. It hardly justifies the type of regulation at issue.”

The “type” of regulation was the home-growing ban under Harper’s now-defunct medical cannabis regulations. So, no risk from mould, but what about fires?

“The Defendant relied on the evidence of the Fire Chief for Surrey, British Columbia, Mr. Garis, to advance its position regarding fire risk in marihuana cultivation….  His evidence was seriously undermined in cross-examination and in the rebuttal expert evidence of the Plaintiffs. Moreover, the evidence was not credible and was biased… The Defendant’s fire risk evidence was weak and inconsistent. I prefer the evidence of the Plaintiffs.”

“Corporal Shane Holmquist, a member of the RCMP’s Coordinated Marijuana Enforcement Team, was the key so-called “expert” witness for the Defendant. He provided evidence on mould and contamination, fire, home invasion and violence, diversion and community impacts.

“Holmquist was the most egregious example of the so-called expert discussed earlier in paragraph 101. He was shown, in cross-examination, to be so philosophically against marihuana in any form or use that his Report lacked balance and objectivity. He possessed none of the qualifications of the usual expert witness. His assumptions and analysis were shown to be flawed. His methodologies were not shown to be accepted by those working in his field. The factual basis of his various opinions was uncovered as inaccurate. I can give this evidence little or no weight. It does not establish that there was a sound basis for the new regulatory scheme.”

“Accepting that fire, mould, diversion, theft and violence are risks that inherently exist to a certain degree – although I note that these risks were not detailed – this significant restriction punishes those who are able to safely produce by abiding with local laws and taking simple precautions to reduce such risk. A complete restriction is not minimal impairment. As mentioned above, the mould and fire risks are addressed by complying with the Safety Standards Act and installing proper ventilation systems. Further, as demonstrated by the Plaintiffs, a security system reduces risk of theft and violence. Finally, risk of diversion is also present in the LP regime; thus, it is not demonstrated how this restriction has the effect of reducing this risk.”

“Many of the risks purported to be significant were not proved to exist, including fire, home invasion/violence/diversion and community impacts. The law is therefore arbitrary.”

Provincial and municipal governments can try banning or restricting home-growing, but the rule of law has already spoken.