Vancouver property market even pricing out criminals: RCMP

The Vancouver Sun today published details of an internal RCMP report it obtained which states the U.S. housing crash has convinced marijuana growers to push their operations south of the border.

“Some VOC (Vietnamese Organized Crime) groups have moved their marijuana grow operations to the United States where the lower cost of real estate allows them to operate a more profitable enterprise and where they can also avoid police/customs detection at the border,” said the report.

Along with the housing slump in the U.S. and rising cost of housing in Vancouver, softer marijuana laws in some U.S. states have also made a difference.

The story pointed out Canada has had a multi-billion-dollar marijuana-growing industry for a decade, primarily shipping to the U.S. from residential property operations.

For Canadian landlords, a shift in the growing operations would be welcome.

Recent reports show biker gangs such as Hells Angels had used decoys such as elderly couples to trick their way into leasing Calgary properties to start growing operations. These operations often left extensive mould damage, and compromised utility systems due to growers trying to steal water and electricity to feed the operation.

While the report does not indicate a mass exodus of growers yet, it’s a trend the RCMP is monitoring.

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