Florida's New Boom Crop: Potent Indoor Pot

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2009 7:35 PM CDT
A marijuana plant grown under lights.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(Newser) – California gets most of the attention when it comes to marijuana headlines, but Florida leads the nation in indoor pot cultivation, reports Time. Last year, police raided more than 1,000 so-called grow houses, more than double the number in 2006. The trend has the attention of authorities because pot grown indoors—with powerful lights and chemical stews—is far more potent than the stuff grown outdoors.

Thirty years ago, marijuana had THC levels of about 7%, but today's indoor pot is closer to 25%, writes Carmen Gentile. And these are no mom-and-pop operations. Sometimes a dozen or more homes are involved in a single set-up, with growers happily taking advantage of the state's real estate bust to pick up houses on the cheap. One quirk: Cops say electricians often provide their best tips, because growers usually call in experts to help mask their high energy use.