Mouldy myths

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Should a b-movie blob threaten the city, Toronto cops will have lots of experience battling make-believe enemies. Fact is, menacing claims last week by our finest that the grow ops busted at 2600 Jane were rampant with mould may be plain untrue.

According to Dr. Howard Shapiro, Toronto Public Health’s associate medical officer of health, who inspected the building last Friday, “We didn’t find any visible evidence of mould in the common areas or the units [used as grow ops].’

Police spokesperson Mark Pugash politely refutes the statement. “All I can say is [the officers] did see mould in the rooms.”

But genius ganja grower and Pot TV station manager Greg “Marijuana Man” Williams has seen plenty of farming facilities, and he tells me, “Mould doesn’t happen unless it’s under unusual circumstances. Yet all the grow ops busted by police have mould.”

He says overwatering and -misting and dramatic temperature changes will create weed worries before mould ever appears. “The plants would be dead,” says Williams about the big North York haul. “They would not survive. With amounts of mould as high as the police claim, those plants would get mushy and die.”

Health Canada licensed med grower Mik Mann, who offers farming facility tours on Vancouver Island, explains: “With proper venting there is little problem with mould on the walls. I have white plastic on the walls and have zero mould on it or under it.”

Sure, public health suggests mould might happen when mist hits the paper coating on drywall, but Mann says, “If you have your fans running [as you should], mist on the walls dries long before it becomes a problem.”

Of course, good airflow is critical for mould prevention in any home. According to Mann, “Mould on the walls may indicate some other problems with the home unrelated to an indoor garden.”

Shapiro notes, “In general, you can have mould issues from a leaky pipe or a flooded basement. You get mould in buildings that have structural issues.”

The bottom line is, with toking acceptable among most Canadians, cops have had to manufacture public fear about living next door to the greens. But someone battling mould would have poorly budding plants and un-sellable product not the “very high-quality” buds valued at $6.6 million that the police claim to have confiscated from the Jane Street grows.

“They must have been really healthy plants to be worth that much,” laughs Williams.

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