Canadian Underwriter

New study highlights dangers of marijuana grow operations

December 23, 2003   by Canadian Underwriter

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In a report highlighting concerns over commercial marijuana grow operations, insurance concerns over the increased danger of fire are being brought forward by the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP).
The OACP-commissioned report speaks to several concerns, including the cost of stolen electricity, youngsters living in the grow house begin exposed to risks, and the proximity of such operations to schools.
But another facet of this issue is the potential insurance impact. “The likelihood of a fire in a grow op dwelling may be as much as 40 times greater than in a regular household,” OACP notes.
According to data compiled by the Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario (CISO), between 2000 and 2002, indoor grow ops increased by 250%, to about 15,000 in 2002. Revenue from illegal growing is estimated at $12.7 billion during the period.
The police are hoping to use the data to encourage stiffer penalties for marijuana growing offenses. They also plan to use the data compiled in discussions with other stakeholders, including insurers, to come up with a provincial strategy to stop grow ops.

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