Medical marijuana grow-op planned for former B.C. school

Residents in a small Northern B.C. community are crying foul over plans to turn an elementary school into a medical marijuana grow-op.

Ktown Medical Growers is in the final stages of purchasing the vacant school, with a plan to replace the rows of school desks with rows of pot plants.

The company already operates a small, licensed medical marijuana operation in town, but now hopes to expand.

CEO Alexander Mark Roberts says the industrial-scale operation will bring 80 much-needed jobs to the village of Topley, near Houston

"You know we just want to provide medicine for the people. We want to provide jobs," said Roberts.

Over the weekend in Nanaimo, a new legal medical grow-op drew more than 450 job applicants.

But some Topley residents say the legal grow-op doesn't belong in their neighbourhood and are fighting the proposal.

Vivian Eftodie is worried about safety and crime.

"It's going to be huge…there's no policing. The closest RCMP is Houston, and it's a 30-minute drive on a good day. It's not the thing of being a school. It is the thing of being in our town. It is right in our town," says Eftodie.

She is also worried about the smell that could come from the facility.

"It smells like a dead skunk on the highway. We don't want that smell coming into our homes, into our furniture, into our clothes."

Roberts says the facility will have sealed rooms with filters, blocking the smell, and adds the building will be monitored at all times.

The company is in the process of getting the proper zoning from the regional district and if the sale goes through, hopes to have the grow-op up and running later this year.