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Many potential home buyers put off by even soon-to-be-legal amounts of pot: survey

Last Updated Apr 20, 2018 at 7:28 am PDT

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Growing marijuana plants that would be permitted under Cannabis Act would turn off many home buyers, says survey

Local home inspector doesn't see any difference between a few pot plants and having any other houseplants

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – By the time the next 4/20 rolls around, it should be legal to smoke and grow marijuana in your own home, but a new survey suggests you might have a tougher time selling your property if potential buyers get a whiff of what’s going on.

Growing even the four plants that would be permitted under the coming Cannabis Act is enough to turn off 47 per cent of people responding to a new survey from Zoocasa, who say it would reduce their desire to buy a home.

The issues around a large-scale marijuana grow operation are well-known — possible electrical, moisture and mould problems — but local home inspector James Dobney doesn’t think four plants would pose much of an issue.

“Personally I don’t see the difference between that and any large houseplant,” he tells NEWS 1130.

However, Dobney says amateur modifications to a home for larger operations can leave many issues for the next homeowner to deal with if they are not properly remediated.

“If it has been identified as a grow op by local authorities, then typically they will have a protocol in place for what’s required in terms of remediation. That would involve inspections at various stages. It could involve removing drywall and issues with electrical and plumbing,” he explains.

“If it has never been identified, officially, as a grow op then it is up to the previous as to what they may or may not have done to it.”

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The survey also finds the aftereffects of pot smoking are an issue for many people, with 39 per cent of respondents from all provinces reporting that increased marijuana use in homes will decrease property values.

Home inspector Shawn Anderson says specialized cleaning and paints may be needed to cover the residue and odours left by Cheech and Chong levels of smoke.

“I’ve had clients that have taken down drywall out of condos and just replaced it because the previous owner was a heavy pot smoker. The smell is really strong and pretty tough to get rid of without some serious cleaning and repainting,” he says.

“And it will stay in your carpet forever. So you’ve got to get rid of your carpets.”

Other findings from Zoocasa include 19 per cent of respondents from the Millennial generation (aged 22 to 37) indicating that they would consider growing a legal amount of marijuana on their property, nearly twice as many as the Boomer generation (aged 54 to 72) at 11 per cent.

And 32 per cent of respondents from all provinces surveyed agree that having marijuana dispensaries will reduce the value of homes nearby.