Bad Economy Creating Dozens of Grow-Ops in Las Vegas
During the current recession, Las Vegas residents – many of them in upscale areas – have seen an increase in grow houses right in their own neighborhood. Medical marijuana in Las Vegas has taken off and as more people struggle in a tight economy, the Las Vegas medical marijuana market gives them an opportunity.
Last year, police raided 108 homes, seized over 12 thousand plants, this year police have confiscated over 10 thousand plants from 112 grow-ops. That’s more than double the number of houses raided in 2007. So the Las Vegas medical marijuana community has been very active in the past few years. And more Las Vegas medical marijuana growers are moving into commercial and industrial sites, recently, police seized 90 plants in a raid on a warehouse which the neighboring tenants thought was a bakery. Doctors that recommend marijuana in Nevada say these grow-ops do not correspond to the laws Nevada residents developed to keep the Nevada medical marijuana clinics and growers in line with the law. Instead, as more people struggle in the economy, they find that growing marijuana is a lucrative and relatively easy profession. Even people who get a medical marijuana card in Nevada follow the rules, but some grow-op owners are trying to circumvent the system, costing Las Vegas medical marijuana patients and clinics in the process.
Police believe that some home owners who are desperate to rent to anyone, taking on unknown tenants who set up their operation without the owner’s consent or knowledge. Some instances, police find criminals squatting in abandoned houses, opening grow-ops right under people’s noses. With tighter security along the border, the quantity and quality of marijuana has declined. For this reason many Las Vegas medical marijuana patients prefer a product that’s grown hydroponically, and doctors that recommend marijuana in Nevada prefer hydroponically grown plants because they contain more THC, while being easier to smoke. This also makes it more valuable and the average Las Vegas medical marijuana patient can actually benefit from this.
Patients who get a medical marijuana card in Nevada are interested in getting the best medicine available and if grow-op houses are the ones producing the best medicine, then people and patients will continue to purchase from them. Police raids look good on camera, they put drugs and money on the table, but they also harm people who need medical marijuana in Las Vegas. They also do some good things for the area as well. Unsupervised grow-ops contain a lot of chemicals, equipment and present a fire danger, so police are constantly left cleaning up chemicals and fertilizers from abandoned grow-ops.
The illegal growing operations point to a need for Las Vegas medical marijuana patients. They need a legitimate source of medical marijuana in Las Vegas, and not some fly-by-night grow-op that the police will eventually raid. For Nevada medical marijuana clinics to remain viable the system needs to match the demand of the product. Now, it’s time for the taxes to match the demand.