Captain Joe Mendez from the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area says, “If the economic downturn remains as it is, I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”
August 15, 2009
Florida’s Home Grown Pot Trade Booming
Florida is the leader in indoor marijuana cultivation in the United States. The crops are hydroponic marijuana, grown without soil, giving it the highest level of THC marijuana on the market.
In 2008 there were 1,022 grow-ops busted in the state, up from the previous year’s 480. The average THC in the found crops was at 25 percent. Considering that the pot of yesteryear was at 7 per cent THC, it’s easy to understand that this is a potent plant. When grown indoors marijuana doesn’t have to deal with night hours, lights are used to nourish the plants 24 hours a day. The fertilizers that are used help hasten the growth and the THC levels in the plants. A pound of home grown marijuana can fetch $4,000 on the street in Florida. In other areas, that same crop can make it’s growers up to $8,000. Grow-ops generally have four crops a year. Police rely on tips to break up the indoor farms. One type of informant is the electric company. In one case an employee in Polk Country was sent out to shut down the power for nonpayment. When he heard a generator running in the backyard that day and on a following Monday he asked a person at the home about it. Or tried to, the man refused to comment so he called the sheriffs. That call led to one “sophisticated marijuana grow operation” being shut down. For growers the Internet is a hotbed of information on how to grow hydroponic marijuana. Many sites give step-by-step details on how to plant and harvest, from seed choice to what lighting is the best to use. The police know they may be fighting a long-term battle. As Time reports:
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