How to Spot a Marihuana Grow Operation
- House has a "not lived in" feel: Many grow operations do not have people living inside them.
- Unusual visitor behaviour: Inconsistencies in visitors to and from the residence, ranging from no visitors giving the appearance of seclusion, to frequent visitors for short time periods.
- Covered windows: Covered with white plastic, heavy curtains pressed against the windows or blinds that are tightly shut & pressed against the windows. These window coverings will never be opened.
- Condensation: Humidity inside a grow room is approximately 65% with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. These conditions cause condensation on windows and walls that result in mould, mildew and rot.
- Smells & Odours: Skunk-like odour mixed with a sweet vegetative smell or the unique smell of rotting cabbage. Also, the odour of mothballs or fabric softener is frequently utilized to try and mask the smell of the operation.
- Sounds: The sounds of humming fans can be heard because the air inside the growing rooms needs to be vented outside. The air may be vented through the chimney, into the attic, or even into the sewer system. In addition, the sounds of construction late at night could be an indicator.
- Localized power surges: Neighbourhood residences experience unexplained power surges or power "browning" (decrease of power which dims lights & slows down appliance use) with the return of normal power flow approximately 12 hours later.
- "Beware of Dog" or "Guard Dog on Duty" signs: Used to deter trespassing, protect against theft and detection by police.
- History of premises: Residence and/or commercial premises have been used as marijuana grow operations in the past. Many of these rental properties are known among the criminal element as having been used for growing marijuana then repeatedly used again.
- Other indicators used as props to deflect any attention by neighbours and police: Outdoor and/or indoor lights, radio and/or TV on for 24 hours, flyers left in mailbox or on the front steps, children's toys & bikes outside without children living or seen at the residence, realty signs posted on front lawn.
The general public are often the eyes and ears of the police. If you observe suspicious drug activity in your neighbourhood call your Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.