Everyone would agree that growops are not a good thing for any neighbourhood. But from a REALTOR® perspective, it’s even more of a conundrum. As a REALTOR®, we represent the buyer or the seller to the best of our ability using all of the resources to sell or buy that home. When it comes to grow-ops, we want to work with the seller to ensure the property is safe, but how do we really know?

Grow-op properties require effective remediation before being put on the market, but the absence of provincial standards for air quality means undetected mould could resurface, even after a home is declared safe.

To make grow ops into livable properties, some legislative standards are required. Standards are in place for the other construction aspects of the home; included in plumbing, heating, ventilation, electrical and structural integrity, so why not include standards for growop properties?

Madeline Sarafinchan, president of the Alberta Real Estate Association, readily acknowledges that “grow op properties that are not effectively remediated pose several long-term health and safety risks and, with no enforceable standards in place, protecting consumers is difficult.”

As a REALTOR® and buyer/seller representative, we want to be able to effectively integrate remediated properties back into the real estate market while protecting our clients and minimizing the health and financial risks associated with these properties.

Currently, there is no established mechanism to license, regulate, permit or certify people or companies who investigate, remediate and test the environmental conditions in former illegal drug operations. There are companies that market themselves as ‘certified mould-environmental consultants’ but they are not government regulated or endorsed and, without clear standards set, how do we know if they have the sufficient qualifications to properly undertake the work?

The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) is advocating for legislative changes and through our political action committee we will work to bring this issue to the forefront in the upcoming Alberta provincial election.

In short, to make grow ops into livable properties, some legislative standards are required. Without them, it is difficult for consumers to determine if the property has been restored properly.

From CREB President Bob Jablonski


  1. The statement is correct regarding absence of Provincial standards for air quality, but Municipally, Calgary and Area, high standards are in place. The City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have strict guide lines that must be followed. All inspections must be completed, all invoices and receipts for cleaning, disposal etc. must be submitted to Alberta Health Services and final Indoor Air Quality test results submitted and reviewed before Alberta Health Services will conduct a re-inspection of the property, only then, a General Trade Entry will be issued to re-build the property to living condition.
    Therefore, there is no undetected mould to resurface. Only if a new source of moister develops will new mould grow. The previous mould is removed in the Calgary & Area for remediated properties.
    Can you imagine buying any house with your life savings only to discover that at some time in the past the roof was leaking or there was a leak in the upstairs bathroom or the water hose in the ice maker fridge burst or the dish washer was leaking and there is now hidden mold in the ceiling and walls. When you purchase a former grow op. that has been remediated in the Calgary and immediate area, you know all inspections and testing have been completed and passed extensive health inspections.
    As a approved grow op. remediation specialized contractor, I can tell you that each property under goes numerous inspections at various stages of the remediation to a rough total of 9 different inspections. As well , structural engineers, master electricians, master gas fitters and master plumbers involvement. All remediation contractors must be approved by the City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services before any entry letters or permits are issued.
    These properties that have been completed by us are extremely clean, air quality tested and inspected. Going through the proper procedures (Guide lines), testing and inspections, you can be rest assured that your property has been rectified properly and with a clean bill of health. So please, consider my experience when purchasing a un remediated property. Call 403-272-1995 or visit http://www.mayken.com for more information.


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