A house in a Clydesdale village had been converted into a cannabis “factory” where a police raid discovered illegal plants valued at up to £37,500 being grown.
Indeed, Lanark Sheriff Court heard so much of the drug was being cultivated at 204 Bellfield Road, Coalburn, that neighbours complained to the police about the smell of cannabis coming from the property, prompting the swoop.
At court on Thursday, 28-year-old Darryn Hosie of Cramar Cottage, Carbeth, Glasgow pleaded guilty to producing cannabis at the property on February 26.
When police turned up at the two-storey house they found Hosie coming out.
Questioned, he put his head in his hands and admitted there were two cannabis plants inside. He then admitted that the true total was “about 40 plants” in the building.
Police then went in and found two cannabis “growing areas” inside with 20 mature cannabis plants and 20 others at an earlier stage of cultivation.
Estimates of the street value of cannabis plants ranged widely, the court heard, and so these mature plants could have been worth anything between £5000 and £37,500.
The house was also fully kitted out with cultivation equipment such as ducted heating pipes, special lighting and hydroponic equipment.
“This was a factory.” commented Sheriff Nikola Stewart, adding that she was surprised that the matter was being dealt with at a sheriff court as a summary matter and not as a more serious petition or even High Court case.
A solicitor for Hosie said said his client had originally bought the property “to do it up for re-sale” but had been persuaded by an older man with involvement in the drugs scene to use it for cannabis cultivation.
The solicitor said that Hosie’s plans to refurbish the house and move into it had been stalled by him being laid off from his job, causing him financial difficulties.
However, the solicitor added that Hosie maintained that the cannabis was being grown largely for his own use.
A clearly sceptical Sheriff Stewart commented: “One plant would have met his