What is it?
A marihuana grow operation is any residence or business that has been modified in order to grow large amounts of marihuana. This marihuana is sold on the street by criminal organizations.
Sophisticated and significant structural changes are made in order to supply light, water and ventilation to plants. These changes make the location uninhabitable for any future residents without major repairs.
A home grow operation steals electricity worth $1000 per month.
Home grow operations are found in all types of neighbourhoods. Sometimes, large homes are preferred because they provide a large grow capacity. A home grow operation can generate revenue of up to a million dollars in tax free cash which finances various organized criminal activities.
What to look for:
- Residents only attend homes occasionally for short periods
- Exterior appearance of the property is untidy
- Entry is often made through the garage to conceal activities
- Trash bags containing used soil and plant material
- Windows are covered to prevent light from entering the home and to conceal activities
- Bright light can be seen escaping from windows and heavy condensation may also be present
- Electricity meters show signs of tampering
- Sounds of construction and ventilation fans may be heard
- Growing marihuana produces a strong skunk-like odour that may be detected outside
Potentially dangerous conditions linked to marihuana grow operations:
- Fire and health dangers to surrounding homes due to unsafe use of electricity and chemicals
- Shock or electrocution hazards can be created by illegal electrical bypasses charging the ground
- Future owners may be at risk due to structural damage, electrical modifications, residual chemicals and toxic molds
- A family home could be destroyed by a home grow operation
- Strong odours and untidy appearances
- Property values of surrounding homes can be affected
- Theft of electricity leads to higher utility bills
- Marihuana from home grow operations is sold to our children
- There is a risk of violence and residual crime in neighbourhoods linked with illegal activity
- Emergency responders are exposed to hazardous conditions
What you can do: If you suspect that there is a home grow operation or the theft of electricity in your neighbourhood, it is important that you contact police at (519) 653 7700 or Crime Stoppers 1 800 222 8477.
Email: Waterloo Regional Police Service Drug Branch
Phone: 519-650-8500 ext. 8612
Crime Stoppers: 1 800 222 8477