Sector Crisis management and relief

Environmental safety of cannabis grow rooms

Introduction

The cultivation of hemp is prohibited in the Netherlands. Despite this, there are an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 hemp farms in the country, a large proportion of which are located in homes, exposing neighbouring residents to safety risks. In 4,500 of the 6,000 hemp farms dismantled annually, the power grid is found to be dangerously overloaded. Each year, electricity to the value of €200 million is illegally tapped and at least 65 house fires occur as a result of hemp cultivation. The Dutch Safety Board views this as a serious cause for concern, which has prompted it to examine the safety risks affecting people living near hemp farms.
 
The commercial cultivation of hemp involves the use of a great deal of equipment in the homes in question. However, homes are not designed for this purpose and are therefore unsuitable for such activity. To make hemp cultivation possible, numerous modifications are necessary. The possible consequences of carrying out these modifications without proper knowledge and expertise include fire, collapsing of the building and harm to the health of neighbouring residents.
 
To improve the safety of people living near hemp farms, public and private parties must work together and take measures to prevent unsafe situations caused by hemp cultivation. This requires a different way of thinking, one that focuses not on the illegal nature of cultivation, but on the unsafe situations such activity creates for neighbouring residents.

Statistics

  • Start date 14 jul. 2016
  • End date 1 mrt. 2018
  • Type investigationFull
  • Status investigationClosed

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