News / Calgary

Marijuana grow-op cleaning business blooms for Chestermere couple

Some couples struggle just to keep their own house tidy, but Dean and Jeanette May routinely take on some of the most daunting cleanup jobs imaginable.

Together for six years, the pair from Chestermere make a living remediating grow ops and throw in the odd crime trauma scene for good measure.

"It's good — she's the boss at home, I'm the boss at work," Dean says with a laugh.

Alberta Health Services maintains that the average grow op can take half a year to clean, but the pitch from Mayken Solutions is it can often complete a job in just two months' time.

"After the cops raid it and clear it, it looks like somebody has physically taken the house, turned it upside down and shaken it. It's chaos and turmoil all over the place." — Dean Mayken, remediation specialist

Dean has a quarter-century's worth of experience dealing with hazardous materials, while Jeanette has worked in office settings for 30 years, developing marketing and retail experience. With each remediation project, Dean's team of five steps in first to remove toxic waste and the like. Jeanette's crew follows up with the massive cleanup and restoration.

"We make a pretty good team," she said. "Our phones are ringing off the hook now . . . call us remediation specialists."

Many of the Mays' customers have purchased a house from the bank at a reduced price and rely on them to make it a proper living space. The price tag for such an endeavour averages $35,000.

The couple has seen it all — from small basement grows with some mould damage to full-scale operations that have left a residence beyond repair.

Mayken Solutions did work on one of two legal home grow ops shut down by the City of Calgary last year after inspectors found numerous safety issues. The federal government has signalled it is moving away from such operations — a move backed by the Calgary police.

From his angle, Dean sees no other choice.

"It's ludicrous," he said. "A lot of time people think they're doing it right until an inspector comes it . . . i you are going to run an operation like that, it needs to be in a proper environment."

But despite routinely witnessing the aftermath of criminal enterprise, the Maykens appear to keep things light-natured when discussing their work, even cracking jokes about how a grow op just two blocks from their home in Chestermere allowed them to cut down on vehicle mileage.

"What I say frequently is we're one of few making money legally in the grow-op business," Dean said.

Company profile

  • Mayken Solutions was first established in 2006. Grow-op remediations accounts for about 90 per cent of the company's business, with the remainder being primarily trauma clean ups and massive garbage removal jobs.
  • The company takes on about a dozen grow-op remediations every year and often handles as many as five at a time.
  • For more information, visit mayken.com.

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