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'It's gross': Smell from licensed cannabis facility bothers Port Coquitlam residents

Coquitlam property owner has a Health Canada license to grow cannabis, Coquitlam RCMP say, but residents say operation emits odour, especially at night, and should be investigated.
Residents of Port Coquitlam are upset about the smells emanating from a licensed cannabis cultivator located in Coquitlam.

Neighbours of a legal cannabis growing operation say they are sick of the smell emanating from the facility and are calling on officials to investigate.

Several people who live near the property — located in a rural area on the Port Coquitlam side of the city's border with Coquitlam — say the facility is making their lives miserable.

They want officials to investigate whether the facility should be allowed in the city.

Ray Kohnert, who lives within a few hundred metres of the property near Sun Valley Park in PoCo, claims the grow-op smells like “chicken manure,” and he wants more odour control.

“I didn’t move here to smell all that,” said Kohner, adding he no longer enjoys sitting on his deck in the evening and other neighbours are complaining too.

They say the smell gets really strong, especially in the evening.

“It’s really gross,” said one woman, who lives close by.

Another man who lives nearby also complained to the Tri-City News about the smell.

The man, who didn’t want his name used, claims the smell is so bad he can’t sleep.

He said a new barn was erected on the property and he wants the city to check whether it should be allowed.

“Someone should be notifying the city of Coquitlam that that’s what’s there, and I don’t know if that’s been done,” the man said, who says he’s contacted several officials about his concerns including Health Canada.

Coquitlam RCMP has confirmed the property has a Health Canada license to operate and asked that the address not be publicized for “privacy and security reasons.”

In an email, Const. John Graham said the file on the property has been concluded after police received confirmation from Health Canada the cannabis grow-op is licensed.

Metro Vancouver, which is establishing emission regulations for cannabis producers, has also visited the site.

A spokesperson said an officer who visited after receiving two complaints didn’t “observe any cannabis odours.”

The Tri-City News also visited the site and didn’t detect any odours.

But the neighbours say the smell is mostly at night and they would like further investigation into whether ventilation systems are properly filtered and maintained.

A spokesperson for the city of Coquitlam said it is investigating whether proper building permits have been obtained for any new buildings or an addition.

The Tri-City News has reached out to Health Canada asking if any further investigation into odour complaints has been conducted, but did not receive a response at the time of publication. 

Under Health Canada rules, cannabis producers are required to control odours.

The smell complaints come as Port Coquitlam has added new rules to ensure that cannabis production facilities opening up in the city maintain strict control over odours.

A new production facility seeking final approvals with the city of Port Coquitlam recently obtained a 10-year-emission permit from Metro Vancouver.