More than halfway through the year, and police have already smashed more than a dozen cannabis farms in our region.
Taken together, these illegal operations have a turnover of millions, so it’s not surprising crooks think it’s worth taking a chance.
But as the following examples demonstrate, far from cannabis farms being easy money, they are not hard to uncover once police are (literally) on the scent.
Criminal groups involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in other serious organised crime and will use any property they can, often in the heart of our communities, to grow cannabis.
This year alone, cannabis farms have been found in a warehouse, a garage, a former pizzeria, an empty nightclub, and an abandoned pub.
Here is the list from 2019 in full.
1) Police raid finds £600,000 cannabis farm in Walton house
In July, police found a cannabis farm worth around £600,000 while investigating reports of a burglary in Walton.
Officers were called out to a house on Pym Street at around 10.30pm on Wednesday night after reports of a break-in.
Police then found a drug farm with around 150 plants inside.
Police said to the ECHO that the plants had an estimated annual yield of around £600,000.
2) Police storm Liverpool warehouse to bust drugs operation
The stop search of a van in Liverpool city centre led to the discovery of cash and drugs at a warehouse in south Liverpool earlier this month.
Officers found cannabis in the back of the van, which led to a search of a property in the Aigburth area, resulting in more drugs being seized together with £13,000 in cash.
A further warrant was executed at industrial premises in the Speke area and a cannabis farm with around 100 plants was recovered.
3) ‘Death trap’ cannabis farm worth £500,000 found across three rooms of Speke house
A cannabis farm worth half a million pounds was found spread across three rooms of a Speke home.
Merseyside Police found 125 plants and equipment in a property in Alderwood Avenue.
The discovery was made last month after a warrant was executed at the address.
Items including growing equipment and cannabis worth £500,000 were then seized and taken away.
4) Schoolboy suspected of farming £250k cannabis factory in Allerton garage
A major cannabis farm was discovered in a south Liverpool garage in June after police were attracted to its potent smell.
Merseyside Police confirmed they unearthed 60 plants with a yield of worth up to £250K a year after being drawn to the strong whiff in Allerton .
Patrols in the area of Booker Avenue “identified a strong smell of cannabis” from an address.
A search of the garage led to around 60 plants being seized, in addition to equipment.
A 15-year-old boy from Tranmere was arrested on suspicion of cannabis production, cannabis supply and cannabis possession and taken to a police station for questioning.
Police bodycam footage shows scene of Kirkby cannabis farm from last year:
5) Massive four-floor cannabis farm discovered at former pizzeria
A huge four-floor cannabis farm was found at a former pizzeria in Runcorn .
The “sophisticated set-up” was discovered by officers on patrol on High Street in the town centre last month.
Police said the farm occupied four floors – running vertically from the ground floor, which is a vacant former pizzeria, to the attic – and contained around 300 plants.
6) Police find 1,000 cannabis plants in empty nightclub
Police were led to a massive cannabis farm in a disused nightclub after a tip-off from members of the public.
Around 1,000 plants were seized by officers inside the former premises of Eivissa bar in Bridge Street, Warrington town centre, last month.
Cheshire Police said the force had arrested two 16-year-old boys and a 27-year-old man on suspicion of production of cannabis.
7) Police find 999 cannabis plants worth almost £4m in basement of abandoned pub
Almost 1,000 cannabis plants worth around £4m were discovered in the basement of an abandoned pub in Bootle.
Officers from Merseyside Police found 999 plants after executing a warrant at the former Linacre pub on Linacre Lane in April.
It was also found that the electricity being used to grow the plants was being was being stolen from somewhere nearby.
8) Huge cannabis nursery worth nearly £1m found in small terraced house
A huge cannabis farm worth almost £1million was discovered after police raided a small terraced house.
The massive haul was discovered inside a property on Albert Edward Road after Merseyside Police executed a drugs warrant in April.
Inside the Kensington home, police found a total of 230 plants, three bags of dried cannabis, growing equipment and discovered the electricity had also been abstracted.
The cannabis farm would have had an estimated annual yield of £920,000.
9) Massive cannabis farm discovered at Lark Lane property during drug raids
A massive cannabis farm was discovered during drug raids in south Liverpool .
Officers carried out warrants on popular Lark Lane in March before the operation was uncovered.
Police confirmed that around £900,000 worth of cannabis plants were found at a property on the road, as well as equipment.
10) Handgun and cannabis farm discovered in Everton police raid
A handgun and bullets were seized and a cannabis farm discovered after police raided a house in Everton .
Officers from Merseyside Police attended the property in Handfield Street in February.
A 48-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and production of cannabis , and taken to custody. He was later charged with possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm when prohibited for life and possession of ammunition when prohibited for life.
The weapon, alongside a quantity of live ammunition, has been recovered for forensic analysis.
11) Armed police swoop on drugs den in early hours raid
Armed police swooped on a drugs den in an early hours raid – uncovering a cannabis farm worth over £300,000.
Merseyside Police made the discovery after being called to reports of ‘suspicious behaviour’ at a house on Thomas Lane in Knotty Ash.
The force sent an armed response to the property, which they found to be unoccupied when it was raided in the early hours back in February.
Officers unearthed a cannabis farm containing 76 plants spread across three rooms of the property – as well as growing equipment.
12) Man ‘acting suspiciously’ leads police to £1.6m cannabis farm in disused shop
A stop-check on a man “acting suspiciously” led police to a bumper £1.6million cannabis crop in a disused furniture shop.
The 36-year-old was stopped outside the premises, at the junction of Beresford Street and Derby Road in Bootle .
Officers then searched the premises and found 414 plants across three rooms, alongside a large amount of growing equipment.
The man, from the Dingle area, was arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation and later released under investigation.
13) Woman held after police raid uncovers cannabis farm and cocaine at Wavertree house
A woman was arrested after police discovered a potentially dangerous cannabis farm during a raid in Wavertree .
Electricity was found to be re-routed, with police warning it was a “real fire risk to those in the area”.
Police raided the home in Westdale Road, off Picton Road, in January and uncovered a cannabis farm, suspected cocaine and evidence of electricity being stolen.
A 47-year-old woman was arrested at the scene of the farm, which had 10 immature plants.
14) Police mock cannabis farm gang after they make a stupid mistake
Police mocked a cannabis farm gang after finding a £300,000 grow – alongside the suspected dealers’ contact details .
A team of Knowsley police officers executed a warrant at an address on Hayes Avenue in Prescot .
Inside the officers found a cannabis farm with a potential yield of around £300,000.
However as well as the substantial number of plants police also found an invoice – with the suspected dealers name, address and even phone number on.
Anyone who has any information about drugs supply in their area is asked to DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Full story is available here.