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marijuana grow operation

He said he has received two citations in connection to the marijuana growth but has been given little information otherwise. One ticket he received did not list the fine he was required to pay or how much of the illegal substance was on his property, the landowner said. Police declined to offer any more details.

Police confirmed marijuana on the property as early as July 2021, using criminal informants and other forms of surveillance. According to the informants, one greenhouse contained about 3,500 marijuana plants; the informant noted two tents and six greenhouses on the property that month.

Police discovered multiple systems in place to protect the operation from detection or deter law enforcement and others from the property.

It’s legal to grow hemp in Wisconsin

Police also found marijuana on people driving off the property or in their vehicles.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the landowner insisted he believed only hemp was being grown on the property.

Operation reportedly included several greenhouses and thousands of plants

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge William Sosnay signed off on the search warrant Sept. 7, and police executed the warrant Sept. 8.

Marijuana is illegal in Wisconsin, but as of May, adult recreational use of the drug is legal in the surrounding states of Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois.

Marijuana grow operation

Learning about the typical problems created by grow operations will enable inspectors to recognize defects. If an inspector can recognize that water damage, for instance, was a byproduct of a former grow operation, they may waste less time in the attic searching for the source of water leaks.

  • In Canada, marijuana grow operations are becoming so common that many police departments have given up trying to fight them. From 1994 to 2004, the number of marijuana cultivation offenses more than doubled, and Canadian law enforcement estimates that there are currently 50,000 grow operations in the country.
  • In the Canadian province of British Columbia, marijuana growth generates an estimated $7 billion annually.
  • Most of the marijuana grown in Canada will eventually be sold in the United States, where it is worth more.
  • Grow operations can be found in any type of house and community. Homes with grow operations are not necessarily cheap rentals or suspicious-looking, crumbling old homes in ramshackle communities. Newer homes in upscale communities are increasingly used to hide grow operations. Marijuana cultivation can be so lucrative that the entire cost of the house is paid for in a short period of time.
  • Although it may seem like a serious risk for a current grower to hire an inspector to examine their home, it does happen, if rarely. Many grow operations are not temporary, and the growers have an otherwise normal household. Drug dealers need their homes to be inspected, too.

Why should inspectors care about grow operations?

Common indications of marijuana grow operations:

  • heat and humidity. Water that is fed to plants will transpire and evaporate from the containers into the surrounding air. Cannabis plants also require warmth. Excess water vapor and high temperatures can lead to the following defective conditions:
    • water damage. Water damage caused by grow operations will likely appear uniform throughout the room, unlike the generally localized damage caused by water leaks. Even normal house plants can create enough water vapor to damage shingles, and a large marijuana grow operation may cause a considerable amount of water damage.
    • large mold accumulations. Mold grows fast in humid environments. It can be a health concern, as well as a source of structural decay.
    • lack of snow on roof in winter due to high temperatures indoors because of the use of grow lights, etc.
    • unusually high amounts of steam coming from vents in winter.

    Facts and Trends

    • high electricity bills. Energy auditors, many of whom are inspectors, may come across a house that uses far more energy than seems necessary. Inspectors may also be given utility bill information from energy auditors.

    We entered a total of 30 indoor marijuana grow operations (IMGO) with law enforcement investigators in order to determine potential exposures to first responders. Samples for airborne fungal spores, volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were obtained as well as the identification of chemicals utilized in the IMGO. The chemicals utilized within the IMGOs were primarily pesticides and fertilizers with none showing high toxicity. Although several of the IMGOs had CO2 enrichment processes involving combustion, CO levels were not elevated. THC levels were identified on surfaces within the IMGOs and on the hands of the investigators. Surface levels ranged from <0.1 μg /100 cm(2) to 2000 μg /100 cm(2) with a geometric mean of 0.37 μg /100 cm(2). THC levels on the hands of officers ranged from <0.10 μg /wipe to 2900 μg /wipe with a geometric mean of 15 μg /wipe. These levels were not considered to be elevated to the point of causing a toxic exposure to responders. A total of 407 fungal spore samples were taken using both slit impactor plates and 400-hole impactors. Both methods identified elevated fungal spore levels, especially during the removal of plants from some of the IMGOs. After plant removal, spore counts increased to levels above 50,000 spores/m(3) with one sample over 500,000 spores/m(3). In addition, we found that there was a shift in species between indoor and outdoor samples with Cladosporium sp. the predominant outdoor species and Penicillium sp. the predominant indoor species. We concluded that the potential increase in fungal spore concentrations associated with the investigation and especially removal of the marijuana plants could potentially expose responders to levels of exposure consistent with those associated with mold remediation processes and that respiratory protection is advisable.