The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Home Lottery has pulled its “Grand Prize Showhome” in Markham, Ont. after a Global News investigation revealed a legal medical marijuana grow house was located close by that parents say had also caused children at an elementary school across the street to come home smelling like pot.
The $1.285 million fully furnished custom built dream home, which also includes $25,000 in cash for the winner, comes with an unexpected view.
Security cameras and extra ventilation for the grow house can be seen from virtually every window of the prize home and the smell of marijuana permeates the entire neighbourhood.
The cancer foundation told Global News it had made the decision to “replace” the house, located at 39 Jeffrey Nidha Crescent in Markham and one of seven properties offered through the lottery, with a cash prize of $1.3 million.
“It will never open. It is closed to the public. It is not longer a prize in the Princess Margaret Home Lottery,” said Christine Lasky, vice president of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
The organization said in a statement that the homeowner of an adjacent house had a licence issued by Health Canada to legally grow marijuana for personal consumption, adding that the growing of a large number of plants in the house has resulted in an “intrusive odour in the neighbourhood.”
Lasky also said that “nobody inside the building organization was aware of this situation” before the decision to pull the home from the lottery, calling it “very unusual.”
“I think it’s the right thing to do. They’ll get the full value of the prize. … We have many other properties that are available in this lottery program. Some people prefer the cash so this could be a very viable option as well,” she said.
Lasky said the organization did not feel misled by the builder, Treasure Hill Homes, which told Global News it was the last lot they had available to sell in the neighbourhood.
She also said that was “not accurate” and that the charity had put a hold on the lots when they opened to the public.