The TN Pot Cave is actually preparing to open back up and conduct tours. It’s obviously no longer growing marijuana; but people can come experience the effort that went into building the operation. The entrance is a 2,000 pound bank vault door! http://catocaves.com.
Although Florida is slowly starting to legalise cannabis, they didn’t until 2016. In general, this state is a right-leaning one that used to have intense disdain for the idea of drug liberation. At the same time, Florida has always had a wild party scene and a lot of people with a lot of disposable cash. Thus, cannabis grows are everywhere, and in January 2014 Miami-Dade police found one in a disused swimming pool! Chlorine-full chlorophyll doesn’t sound too appealing, though, so let’s hope the trend doesn’t catch on…
Cannabis cultivators go to great lengths to avoid being detected, which results in some bizarre grow locations! Check our top 10 to read more about underground grow rooms that were discovered in bizarre places such as a church, a nuclear bunker, and even right next to a police station!
You’d think that a mansion wouldn’t be the most inconspicuous choice for a hidden cannabis operation. But they hid it well enough to produce a total of 263.25kg of cannabis in just one year – until the police discovered them, of course.
The Public Security Ministry (MSP) reportedly “didn’t speculate on whether the marijuana might have some spiritual significance, but the discovery of a small .38 Special revolver by police doesn’t bode well for the religious freedom angle”!
It is not clear what tipped police off to the presence of the hidden grow room, but they obviously managed to complete at least one harvest before being caught!
Of course, these plants (of which there were just eleven, and apparently “very small”) were none other than our best friend, the insidious devil weed! It is not known whether a student in the Advanced Botany Class that meets there each week was responsible; to their credit, police did not appear too interested in pursuing any leads.
In a case whose perpetrators were as foolish as they were audacious, police last month discovered a grow operation comprising 146 mature plants and an unspecified quantity of harvested and drying cannabis.
Sadly, it seems that masking the smell was not enough to avoid detection for long enough to harvest!
In January 2015, two British men were arrested in connection with a large cannabis grow discovered in a remote field in the English county of Somerset, otherwise best known for cider and incomprehensibly bucolic accents.
There have been at least two cases of hidden illegal cannabis grows discovered at sewage treatment plants in the UK.
In 2008, police were called to the Matthaei Botanical Garden at the University of Michigan for what might possibly be the most ridiculous reason in the entire history of police call-outs: plants were found growing in a botanical garden.
These guys apparently mistook the saying “grow big or go home” for “grow big in huge homes” when they opted to repurpose a Grade-II listed mansion in Cumbria, northern England into a grow operation estimated by local police to be worth €7.1 million.
In a bid to produce some truly holy smoke, as-yet-unidentified personages were reported to have repurposed a small community church in Escazú, Costa Rica as a grow room containing 226 plants and 8kg of dried cannabis.
Hidden cannabis plants in a botanical garden? That’s the work of a camouflage genius.
Due to the absurd and draconian policies still inflicted on populations by governments the world over, people will go to extraordinary lengths to grow weed and avoid detection. Here, we list our ten favourite examples of weird and wonderful grow room locations:
The grow was located in a grand total of four buried shipping containers, all connected by a complex system of tunnels, and accessed by a trapdoor cut into the floor of a caravan!
This may just top the list of unusual underground sites for grow rooms. In Tennessee, just outside Nashville, a truly epic grow set-up was discovered by police in 2005, and it is thought that the operation ran for several years before it was finally detected.
Burying grow ops in underground trailers is not exactly unheard-of, but what makes this case special is the wonderful creativity of the guys running the show.
In August 2015, cannabis plants were discovered at a remote site in Hampshire after a man was intercepted and challenged by staff while on the way to tend to his crop; then, in September this year, a crop of 80 cannabis plants measuring up to 1.5 metres in height was discovered at a Wiltshire sewage works.
Following a tip-off from the electric company that the local grid was experiencing a mysterious drain on energy, police raided a typical A-frame style family house and discovered a passageway leading down to a 75-metre natural cave, which had been expertly modified to house up to 1,000 cannabis plants measuring up to 1.8 metres in height!
Did we miss any? Please share them with us and we’ll add them to the list!
1. In an underground trailer complex.
During the Cold War, Drakelow Tunnels—an extensive tunnel system first built as a factory during the WW2 years—was developed into a top-secret nuclear bunker designed to shelter and protect members of the regional government in the event of a nuclear bombardment, a move that caused widespread controversy and protests when it was discovered by the local population.
Officially, this shady set-up in a railway tunnel in Bangor, Wales was a mushroom-growing operation, but when police looked behind the multiple sets of huge steel doors safeguarding the premises, they found something considerably greener, smellier and more profitable than even the finest morels or truffles. Four large rooms had been given over to the underground cultivation of cannabis, in an operation estimated to be worth up to €2.7 million annually!
In 2013, it was the scene of further controversy when it was found to be the site of a large illicit grow comprising upwards of 400 plants, with an estimated street value of €885,000! This takes “underground” growing to a whole new level.
Thank you for your comment and for the tip! The caves look amazing and I’d love to visit 🙂
Starting outdoor plants off in January-February is typical for outdoor plants so, where does the walipini come in? A sunken, naturally heated greenhouse allows the plants to be outside under those powerful solar rays for longer than they would otherwise be able to in a chilly climate. That extra long growing season lets their plants get up to 15 feet tall, with massively wide stalks yielding four to five pounds of ganja per plant.
Over at the Dragonfly Earth Medicine farm in British Columbia they started off with a few above-ground greenhouses but when gradual climate change brought the heavy fall rains in as early as August, they started experiencing issues excessive moisture can bring such as mold growth. They thought, “What if we go into the ground?” It was out of pure experimentation but they happened to strike gold; out of their three greenhouses the one underground, the walipini, allowed for the most vigorous plant growth.
Giving a whole new meaning to the term underground industry, a walipini is a South American technique of taking advantage of an endless source of heat for grows in cold climates. Think of it as a greenhouse that’s sunken into the ground so its walls are the earth around it. Some radioactive decay and a little energy left over from the formation of the planet pushes out 47 terawatts of energy through the Earth’s crust making the air temperature 55°-60° F in any hole dug five to 10 feet below the frost line, anywhere on the solid surface of the Earth. This ingenious method can be used to create a permaculture sustaining all your vegetable needs year-round, and yes, it’s perfect for growing some monster weed plants in chilly climates.
Using their own strains they’ve been working on for over 25 years that are well adapted to the chilly, humid climate of the Northern Pacific region, Dragonfly has been able to grow some of the biggest cannabis plants we’ve ever seen. They start their seeds off indoors at the end of January and begin moving them out to a greenhouse, still in the pots, under supplemental lighting once the frigid grip of the Canadian winter loosens up. Being outside their plants get “hardened off” (accustomed to cold nights) which is important for healthy plant growth in the strains they have.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth description on the basics to building your own walipini.
Criminals are using more inventive ways to conceal cannabis grows – not just in rooms, but in the back of shops and even underground.
Cannabis farms are very dangerous places and pose a serious risk of fire. Often the electricity meter has been bypassed and seriously overloaded electrical circuits run close to water-filled pipes. Plants grown upstairs in a building can also cause floorboards to rot, presenting the danger of collapse.
In addition it is also important to consider that sometimes the people working in the ‘farms’ are victims of human trafficking and working against their will.
Every cannabis farm we destroy helps prevent a vicious circle. The plants won’t end up as street deals, the profits won’t go on to fund other crime, and they won’t ruin lives or pollute our communities.