HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Officers Alarmed At Increase In Grow-Op Size
Pubdate: Tue, 29 Nov 2005
Source: Lindsay This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Lindsay This Week
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


The increasing size and plant yields of rural marijuana grow 
operations are an increasing concern to OPP drug enforcement officers.

According to the OPP's Drug Enforcement Section, marijuana grow 
operations in rural areas are increasing in size, number of plants 
and sophistication.

In a news release last week, police said the rural areas surrounding 
places such as Bancroft, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Kincardine and 
Dryden have seen the number of marijuana plants seized by police up 
600 per cent over last year.

Police said that in the Bancroft area alone, over 80,000 marijuana 
plants were seized and destroyed this season. One organized group was 
responsible for a series of marijuana crops totaling 40,000 plants.

In 2004, drug officers seized a total 216,448 marijuana plants at 
both indoor and outdoor grows. By September of this year, officers 
dismantled over 600 indoor and outdoor grow operations, seizing over 
400,000 plants and 1,737 kilograms of dried marijuana bud.

Police say one trend that causes real concern to drug officers is the 
number of farm-sized marijuana operations that have been detected.

In past years drug officers would execute search warrants at two to 
three farm-style grows that would be growing 10,000 to 20,000 plants.

In 2005 police located 15 farm-type grows, ranging from 7,000 to 24,000 plants.

This trend has not gone unnoticed by OPP Commissioner Gwen Boniface.

"Organized criminal groups are taking advantage of the vast areas of 
rural Ontario to grow thousands of marijuana plants in single locations.

These marijuana grows, which are occasionally protected by armed 
guards and traps are a danger to both the public and the police.

By producing and selling marijuana that is predominately destined for 
the United States, organized criminal groups are making millions of dollars."
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