The Blaauw Forest was established in memory of Thomas Blaau as an ecological reserve by his family and Watchers of Langley Forests (WOLF).

Langley forest watchers call for municipal regulation of cannabis growers

Glen Valley cannabis operation planned between pristine eco-forest and rehab facility

Dear Editor,

In 2012 Watchers of Langley Forests (W.O.L.F.) worked diligently to save 25 acres of trees. If it hadn’t been for the great generosity of Anne Blaauw, this gem would have been lost to the bulldozer.

She then worked tirelessly to make it a public park for all to enjoy, as well as a safe habitat for the animals.

She has seen to it that paths were installed, and at intervals, there are attractive benches to rest and feel the peace of this serene place.

The park is cherished by those who live nearby, and it sees many visitors, as well.

It’s also an area of scientific study for TWU students who use the forest as a field laboratory.

However, in the summer of 2018, Glen Valley Cannabis Company purchased acreage on 84th Avenue, directly opposite the forest, with intent to construct a cannabis grow op there.

I am not against the usage of marijuana products. I use medical marijuana myself. I am only really concerned about the location of this company.

The grow op lies between the pristine eco-forest and a residential healing centre for men with drug dependency problems. The pungent odour of the small beginnings of this grow op are already polluting the forest and the surrounding area.

As the cannabis industry is very new, it seems that the rules and regulations needed to ensure that no harm comes to the surrounding environment simply don’t exist yet.

Odour, noise, traffic, light pollution, and water quantity and quality issues are likely to cause many nuisance and health-related issues to over 45 residential properties and hobby farms, not to mention all the wildlife residing in the fragile forest. Some of the animals include threatened species that have made it their home.

Furthermore, the grow op is located 900 metres from Wagner Hills Farm Society, a treatment centre for those struggling with drug dependency. Is it wise to have the fumes of a cannabis farm wafting through this well-established recovery centre, whose residents sole wish is to become sober?

I feel these cannabis companies should only be permitted in suitable places, such as industrial parks or farther from student study areas (the forest), health centres, parks, and residential subdivisions.

The municipality has the authority to change and even create new bylaws, a shown with the mushroom composting bylaws, as well as the now restricted use of blueberry cannons.

However, they appear to be resting on the status quo, and nothing about this dilemma appears to be happening.

The location of this new industry simply does not make sense, and something needs to be done.

E. Klemm, Langley

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The Blaauw Forest, next to property earmarked for a cannabis growing operation, includes wild areas, as well as neatly groomed pathways for visitors to enjoy.

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