Marijuana grow operations is the term used for places within the United States where illegal marijuana plants are grown and cultivated for sale and distribution. Grow operations can be big or small. Multi-million dollar fields have been prosecuted just as seriously as small number of plants being grown in someone's basement. In Texas, possessing, growing, or selling marijuana from a personal grow operation is punished with incarceration and fines.
How is a grow operation identified?
There are a few tools used by law enforcement to identify homes and buildings that may be hosting an internal grow operation.
Some of identifiers of a grow operation are:
- Heat and humidity, such as water damage, mold accumulations, and increased amount of steam
- Improper electrical connections on electric meters or power lines to bypass utility companies
- Significantly higher electrical bills than other homes on the street
- Strong odors from marijuana or from attempts to mask the smell
- Unusual garbage, including wiring, PVC piping, and nutrient containers
- Humming sound caused by the grow equipment
- Covered windows
- Extra and seemingly unnecessary security
Law enforcement will seek to identify a grow operation by looking for these factors. When a grow operation is discovered, those in charge of the cultivation of the plants are open to criminal penalties based on the weight of the plants discovered. Having less than 2 grams of marijuana can be punished by 180 days imprisonment and a $2,000 fine, but most grow operations will have significantly more than this.
A grow operation that consists of over 5 pounds of plants but less than 50 can be punished with between 2 and 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. If over 2,000 pounds of marijuana is discovered, those involved may face between 5 and 99 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine.
Grow operations usually consist of enough plants to turn a profit when sold. When caught, this number of marijuana plants carry hefty fines and significant time behind bars. Don't leave yourself defenseless if you have been found to be involved in a marijuana grow operation. Contact the Houston drug defense lawyer at Mark Morash, Attorney at Law to begin your criminal defense.