Recommendations for Safe Re-occupancy of Marijuana Grow Operations
The following guide offers a practical approach to achieving safe re-occupancy of former marijuana grow operations (MGOs) and reviews possible exposures/hazards (tables 1 and 2). It is essential to make a clear distinction between risks associated with an “active” MGO and risks associated with a “shut down” MGO. An “active” MGO is linked to criminal activity, which in itself poses safety risks, while in a “shut down” MGO, this illegal activity is no longer a concern. This guide considers only the potential risks remaining after an MGO is dismantled, criminal activity has stopped, and all related material is removed (i.e., plants and bulk chemicals).
This guide is derived, in part, from the protocol outlined in the New York City Department of Health Guidelines for mould remediation and from discussions with experts involved in mould, pesticide, and MGO investigations and remediation. Most available guidelines on mould remediation mirror the New York City guidelines and are partly based on consensus, survey information of “normal” levels in homes, and personal experience.
Although remediation professionals may use this guide as a basis for their practice, it is only meant to orient public health and municipal staff to the hazards that may need to be addressed to ensure the safety of re-occupants. This guidance document is not intended as a step-by-step procedure for remediation professionals and homeowners.