But you may not be the only person trying to spot a cannabis farm on your street. The sinister side to these booming businesses is that they have become lucrative targets for harder and more violent criminals looking to rob them. These people are constantly on the look out for farms within our communities, which in turn exposes the rest of us to potential violence. What’s the solution? The dealers and criminals I spoke with all said that legalisation would put them out of business.
Ventilation Growers need to ventilate the plants with large extractor fans, which generally emit a low hum. If every morning, at exactly the same time, it sounds as if someone next door is starting up their hovercraft, then it’s probably a cannabis farm warming up for the day.
The latest Independent Drug Monitoring Unit report suggests there are now as many as half a million people growing cannabis in the UK, which equates to roughly one on every street. So how can you spot the cannabis farm next door to you?
Heat Those lights also give off a lot of heat, so the old theory was that the house growing cannabis in the loft would be the one with no snow on the roof in winter. But nowadays growers use internal tents, that isolate a lot of the heat. This makes farms harder for police to spot using their infra-red cameras.
I n the course of making a film about Britain’s cannabis industry, I have learned a lot about how to spot a cannabis farm. I have been schooled by policemen who raid them, gangsters who rob them and growers who set them up and produce more than 80% of the cannabis smoked in the UK today.
Activity Not all farms are inhabited by the grower so watch out for signs that there is no one actually living there: unkempt front gardens, or if your neighbour never leaves out any bin bags on collection day.
Good neighbourliness If the grower is in residence then it can go the opposite way. Perhaps the most surprising tell for having a grower next door might be their over-the-top neighbourliness as they overcompensate in their efforts not to annoy you or make you suspicious as to what they’re up to. As one grower told me: “I’m the nicest, most law-abiding citizen on my street, because the last thing I ever want is to give someone a reason to want to call the police to complain about me.”
Conor Woodman’s film Exposure: Britain’s Booming Cannabis Business is on ITV on 16 October at 11.05pm
Smell Follow your nose. A cannabis crop takes about three months to produce. During the final four weeks, the plants stink. Earlier this year, Crimestoppers helpfully issued cannabis-farm scratch-and-sniff cards to 210,000 homes in the UK to help you identify the exact bouquet.
Carbon filters are classic cannabis filtering devices. Not all carbon filters work the same when it comes to filter power and lifespan; you may want to pick a high quality device – you may need to shell out a bit more money. You’ll also need to pick one that’s right for your extractor or else it won’t work correctly.
Odor filter + Neutralizer + Gel; You can install an activated carbon filter, odor-killing gel inside your ducting about a meter away from the extraction fan outlet and a Neutralizer at the entrance to your house.
ONA gel products can be used inside cannabis grow rooms or tents without damaging the plants at all. These products are generally used to back-up carbon filters by placing them inside your ducting. They’re also used to camouflage the aroma when drying cannabis or for areas near your grow room like the hall or your garage. You can also acquire sprayers and the like so that you get the absolute most out of it.