Illegal cannabis factories

Cannabis factories are set up to mass produce the drug cannabis. If you suspect a cannabis factory is operating in your area, you should report it to Crimestoppers as soon as possible. Cannabis factories can cause fire risks.

What is a cannabis factory?

Cannabis factories are set up to intensively farm cannabis plants and produce cannabis in bulk. They are often built in empty flats, houses and garages in residential areas. Cannabis factories are often set up by organised crime gangs, and are relatively new in Scotland.

Because of the high amounts of electricity used to power the farms, cannabis factories can pose a fire risk to the surrounding area.

What are the signs?

If you notice a combination of the following at a flat or house in your area, it's possible that it's being used as a cannabis factory:

  • The windows are always covered over from the inside.
  • No-one appears to live on the premises, and the property is visited for short times only at unusual times of the day and night.
  • Large quantities of materials are taken to or removed from the property in bin bags or laundry bags - these could be filled with cannabis or growing products such as fertiliser.
  • Compost bags or other gardening equipment are left outside the property.
  • The property has a vent sticking up from the roof or through a window.
  • A pungent smell comes from the property.
  • Machinery noises (for example, the noise of cooling fans) can be heard coming from the property.

What should I do?

If you suspect a property in your area may be being used as a cannabis factory, you should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact your local police station. Don't approach the property or anyone visiting it - this could be dangerous.

Speak to a Shelter Scotland adviser

Call Shelter Scotland's free housing advice helpline

0808 800 4444
9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Email an adviser

You can also email a housing adviser. We aim to respond within three working days.

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