It can be tricky getting the right balance of temperature and humidity because they affect each other—turning up your dehumidifier will lower the humidity of your grow space, but it will also increase the temperature of the area. This in turn may require you to turn on an AC unit—everything’s connected!
You’ll need a dedicated space for your marijuana plants—you won’t be able to move them around. Ideally, the space is next to a window so you can vent air from the grow space outside. Growing weed plants smell! Especially when flowering kicks in, you’ll want to redirect air so your house doesn’t reek of weed.
Cannabis, like all plants, prefers certain environmental conditions in order to thrive. Temperature, humidity, light intensity, and airflow are all factors that will need to be monitored and regulated in order to keep cannabis healthy through its different phases.
You can make this yourself by combining worm castings, bat guano, and other components with a good soil and letting it sit for a few weeks, or it can be purchased pre-made from a local nursery or grow shop.
So when growing weed indoors, you can control the size of your plants by flipping them into flower whenever you think they’re big enough in the vegetative stage.
The two main types of HID lamp used for growing are:
Plants need 18 hours of light a day when in the vegetative stage and 12 hours a day when flowering. The reduction in light from 18 to 12 hours a day is what triggers the flowering cycle—when weed plants start to grow buds.
“That’s a pretty good first clue,” Herigstad said. “Nobody uses that much wiring to grow flowers.”
Aside from economic and criminal implications, the liberalization of marijuana laws across the U.S. is wielding an impact on both commercial and residential real estate. In states such as Colorado and California, dispensaries are often willing to pay top dollar for warehouses to anchor their growing operations. As marijuana cultivation morphs into a regulated, industrial pursuit, former weed growing houses in residential neighborhoods are shedding their once illicit purposes – and some of them are entering the resale market.
“The [NAR] members that we asked about that did say that if the house is used to grow marijuana, it can be difficult to get rid of the smell or moisture issues within the home,” says Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR.
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If the power wiring could hide in the walls, there are other plain signs that give away former weed growing houses. A lingering putrid smell often haunts the rooms. Some of it may stem from the weed plants that once lived indoors. Some of it might actually emanate from mold that thrives in the high-moisture, high-temperature conditions needed for indoor growing.
While home buyers enjoy the protection of such measures, once they decide to sell, they would encounter the same disclosure standards. “You’re going to have to disclose to future buyers that the house was used for a weed operation or that the house had mold, and that you performed mold remediation,” says Gromicko.
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“More times than not, people instantly get turned off,” says Shaunt Zakarian, senior estates director with real estate brokerage Compass, where he has experience with both commercial and residential real estate utilized for growing weed.
Aside from structural problems, which can cost thousands of dollars to fix, houses that once accommodated weed growing activities may carry a stigma (and, sometimes, lower values).
Our firm has represented several individuals with felony drug charges based on their operation or participation in a marijuana grow operation. In one recent federal case, we helped our client receive a probation sentence in a case involving 13 people, multiple houses, 1,500 plants, and over $7 million of seized marijuana.
As the DEA noted in its 2020 “Threat Assessment” report, marijuana supply from foreign countries like Mexico “has largely been supplanted by domestic-produced marijuana.” In other words, marijuana arrests at the border are decreasing while increasing in the suburbs.
We are able to obtain successful outcomes in these cases because we work hard and are familiar with the investigative tactics and available defenses to marijuana grow house charges. We know which motions to file if a grow house is illegally searched or if the police seize evidence unlawfully. We know experts who can analyze the government’s test results and determine if the tests are able to distinguish between illegal marijuana and legal hemp.
What happens during a marijuana grow house investigation?
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In many cases, law enforcement also conducts “trash pulls,” where officers literally go through a house’s trash cans looking for raw marijuana plants, growing or packaging equipment, or receipts or other documentation reflecting a grow house operation. In some cases, officers can take out search warrants and use special equipment to detect if marijuana is being grown inside a house. Even without a warrant, law enforcement officers can sometimes detect radio interference from grow house equipment and use that to identify a grow house.
Even though several states have legalized marijuana, you can still be arrested and prosecuted for growing marijuana unlawfully. Law enforcement agencies at the federal and state level still devote significant resources into investigating illegal marijuana “grow operations,” which involve the use of multiple “grow houses” in residential neighborhoods to grow large amounts of marijuana indoors while avoiding detection from law enforcement.
As in other investigations, law enforcement also relies on surveillance, especially in cases involving multiple grow houses where law enforcement tries to tie certain houses or individuals together as part of a bigger operation. For example, law enforcement officers are trained to believe that individuals making frequent and short visits to certain houses is a sign of a grow operation, and officers often obtain property records to look for common ownership or potential straw purchases.