With a growing number of marijuana grow-ops in the city, University of Calgary researchers will be releasing guidelines for cleaning up former drug houses.

On behalf of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), university researchers investigated the health risks associated with former drug houses and are drafting provincial guidelines for the rehabilitation of the homes, according to the director of industry for AREA.

“Currently, there are no consistent remediation standards in place for mould or air quality for former drug houses, and that is our concern,” Bill Fowler said. “Our primary concern is the health of homeowners.”

“We want our clients to know the home they’re buying is safe and this project will help provide those assurances,” Fowler added.

U of C environmental design professor Tang Lee led the investigation into six former grow-op homes in Calgary and says remediation of former drug homes usually costs around $25,000 to $30,000.

“Adoption of the recommendations will not only protect homeowners, tenants and prospective buyers in Alberta from indoor contaminants caused by illegal operations,” Lee said.

Staff Sgt. Darren Cave of the drug unit said police typically investigate 80 to 100 grow-ops in the city annually, a number he says increases with the population.

“It’s a huge problem so we’re certainly supportive of the project and anything that will help our cause, is a positive thing,” Cave said.