Controlled Substance Property Information
The only record the District of Mission would hold in regards to an identified controlled substance property would be a PSIT file. The Public Safety Inspection Team (PSIT) program was formed in the interest of making homes safe and eliminating controlled substance properties. The program ran from April 2008 until January 2011. PSIT inspections were typically initiated by one of two methods:
- RCMP-led inspections where the RCMP discovered a controlled substance property and asked PSIT to inspect.
- PSIT-led inspections based on electricity usage data obtained from BC Hydro, and a visual observation of the site looking for obvious signs of a controlled substance property or, conversely, signs of why abnormal levels of electricity would be consumed.
If evidence was found that the property had recently been used to produce a controlled substance, the PSIT levied a fee of $4,900 + $300 administrative and left the resident with a remediation order of repairs, if warranted, which would be required to bring the property up to recognized living standards.
PSIT History and Background Information
Prior to the adoption of the controlled substance property bylaw and subsequent inspections by PSIT, the District of Mission had seen a 37% increase in reported marijuana grow operations. In 2008, Mission RCMP reported having opened files on more than 600 marijuana grow operations in the previous three years. The District had also been approached by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, which had advocated for programs offering a greater sense of security for potential home buyers that all homes in the district had not been operated as controlled substance properties.
The District of Mission approved a controlled substance property bylaw and formed the Public Safety Inspection Team (PSIT) in April 2008. The team consisted of a building inspector, fire inspector, and electrician and inspects properties that are deemed to be operating as a controlled substance property. Since its inception the PSIT has inspected 499 properties determining that 283 of those were being used as controlled substance properties and assessing inspection fees of $4,900 plus a $300 administration fee. Fees were assessed to controlled substance properties as a method of funding the inspection team which was established as a cost neutral entity of the District. The PSIT also requested remediation to property in many cases to ensure the building met key standards set in the building code. The District did not assess fees, or order remediation to inspected properties where no bylaw infraction was found.
The District of Mission was one of the last communities in the Lower Mainland to adopt a controlled substance property bylaw and initiate property inspections. The City of Surrey was the first in the region to inspect homes based on data acquired from BC Hydro following the Province of British Columbia’s amendment to the Safety Standards Act which allowed local government access to the information. Programs of this nature are operated in municipalities throughout the Province and were developed after substantive consultation with all levels of government and the Union of BC Municipalities.
A PSIT inspection was usually instigated by one of two methods:
- The first was when an RCMP call led to the discovery of a controlled substance property and asked the PSIT to inspect.
- The second was led by PSIT based on electricity usage data obtained from BC Hydro, and a visual observation of the site looking for obvious signs of a controlled substance property (or conversely signs of why abnormal levels of electricity would be being consumed) PSIT inspected homes which were using more than 93 kwh/day of electricity and are observed to show signs of being a controlled substance property. This is three times the normal electrical use of an average family home.
Controlled substance properties, especially those involved in growing marijuana use between 72 kwh/day and 96
kwh/day for small scale hydroponic lighting systems.
On January 24, 2011, after a number of concerns were raised with respect to the operations of the PSIT, council deferred PSIT led inspections for 30 days and asked that a full review be conducted of both the bylaw and property inspection program. The review was conducted by District Deputy CAO Paul Gipps who put forward a number of key recommendations to improve the program and make it more efficient in dealing with controlled substance properties. It was determined that, moving forward, inspections would be conducted on an as needed basis. Both the RCMP and inspection data supported it as a natural progression of the PSIT in Mission, as there had been a significant reduction since 2008 in the number of controlled substance properties assessed fees and ordered remediation repairs.
Click the links below for additional information on the PSIT Program.
PSIT Information Request
To find out whether the property you are interested in purchasing has a PSIT file, please fill out and submit the following form.
PSIT Information Request Form
Freedom of Information Request
If the property you are interested in was identified by PSIT as a marijuana grow operation, you can fill out a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to determine whether or not the property was properly remediated.
Freedom of Information Request Form
Please download and fill out the following document:
Once you have returned the completed form to our office (by email to email@example.com or fax, 604.826.1363), we can proceed with processing your request. Although the Act provides that a response must be given within 30 business days, we will make every effort to make the records available to you sooner if possible.
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and to our Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Bylaw 5560-2016 there may be a charge to process the request. As soon as we have located the applicable records, we will provide you with a fee estimate.
Buyer Due Diligence
It is important to note that, even if the District does not have a PSIT file for a particular property, the District cannot provide assurances that the property has not ever been a marijuana grow operation. Buyers must perform due diligence on any property they wish to purchase. In addition to checking with the District in regards to any potential PSIT files, buyers should engage the services of a reputable and certified home inspector and ask them if they have experience identifying homes that were previously used as marijuana grow operations.
Potential Buyers should also be aware that not all financial institutions will finance a mortgage for a property which has been identified as a former grow operations, even when it has been successfully remediated with certificates of inspection. If you are interested in purchasing a property which has been identified as a former marijuana grow operation, it may be in your best interest to work with an independent mortgage broker who is able to access lending institutions that will finance mortgages for these properties.