Neighbours of the 30-acre Canopy Growth operation that was announced to be closing in Aldergrove are ‘cautiously optimistic,’ worried about another buyer using it for cannabis cultivation. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

Aldergrove neighbours hope to breathe easy after Canopy Growth closes

Neighbours plagued by marijuana greenhouse’s noise, odour, and light worry about its future purpose

After two years of homeowners near a Canopy Growth facility in Aldergrove shutting their doors and windows due to a persistent odour, there is now a cause for celebration.

The company announced on March 4 the closure of two of its sprawling greenhouse marijuana grow operations in the Lower Mainland – one being its 1.3-million-square-foot facility in Aldergrove.

May Leeper, who lives near 264th Street and 4th Avenue, was cautiously optimistic about the news that the 30-acre marijuana growing facility near her home will close.

“They’re not done yet,” Leeper said, noting it’s likely a skeleton staff harvesting the company’s leftover cannabis crop – several of whom were seen circulating the site by an Aldergrove Star journalist Monday morning.

Canopy CEO David Klein said its decision to downsize “was not taken lightly” and comes in light of slows in Canada’s recreational cannabis market as well as new federal regulations permitting outdoor cultivation – pushing Canopy Growth to focus on more cost-effective, outdoor production sites.

The company said more than 200 Canadian and foreign employees lost their jobs from the closure.

“I feel bad for the employees hired through the [government’s] Temporary Foreign Worker Program,” Leeper said.

“Many of them are legally committed to one company, and if that company goes under, they are totally lost.”

RELATED: Aldergrove marijuana operation one of two massive facilities to close

Now that Canopy Growth is on its way out of rural Aldergrove, Leeper’s biggest worry is that its greenhouses will be sold to another cannabis grower.

Since the former vegetable hothouses were adapted for cannabis production in February of 2018, Leeper and dozens of others lodged complaints against the Canopy Growth operation – for its distinctive odour, noise, and light.

Leeper described the noise as an “unbearable” round-the-clock “droning” sound that can be heard with the windows closed, both day and night.

She and more than 20 of her neighbours complained to the company.

In a letter to Leeper and other nearby residents, Canopy said their employees conduct regular noise checks and that it has adopted the Township of Langley’s noise control bylaw standard.

Nearby homeowner Roberta Diamond was elated when she found out there might be hope for her persistent cough, which developed after Canopy started cannabis production in Aldergrove.

Mornings and afternoons, Diamond treks around her five-acre property to care for horses.

“When I go outside I start coughing immediately,” Diamond explained. “I would be out for 45 minutes each time and have to come inside because my throat and nose burned.”

“My neighbour even developed the same cough,” she added.

READ MORE: Aldergrove greenhouses target of noise complaints

When the issue of the smell from the Aldergrove facility first arose, a spokesman for the company acknowledged it “need[ed] to find a solution.”

This included installing equipment that releases a fine, scented mist dispersed by high powered fans. which people in the neighbourhood have said was not effective in tackling the pungent odour.

Leeper said odour still lingered in the air by Monday afternoon, making her reluctant to reopen the windows of her rural South Langley home.

At their behest, Langley East MLA Rich Coleman, together with Delta South MLA Ian Paton, called for a federal crackdown, saying smelly marijuana greenhouses must either fix the problem or be shut down.

In a joint letter sent last summer to federal Attorney General David Lametti and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas, the two Liberal MLAs argued that greenhouse operators who grow marijuana must do more to control their odour emissions.

The letter listed four locations, “in need of immediate enforcement,” including Canopy Growth’s Aldergrove and Delta facilities, both of which are now closed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

Thunderbird Show Park cancels Canadian Premier and Odlum Brown BC Open

First cancellation in 47-year history of Langley

VIDEO: Feeding front-line medical responders at Langley Memorial Hospital

When a volleyball championship was cancelled, the teams decided to repurpose the registration fees

VIDEO: Sirens show support for Langley Memorial Hospital staff

Friday drive-past the latest in a province-wide campaign to boost morale at B.C. medical facilities

Smiling 98-year-old inspires new ways to connect at Langley hospital

Foundation staff liaise between patients and loved-ones who can’t visit due to restrictions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read