Marijuana Grow Homes – Red Flags

Marijuana Grow Houses – Red Flags

Marijuana Grow Home Info courtesy of Michelle Makos
Inside a Marijuana Grow Home Operation

Marijuana Grow Homes are a growing concern. Having worked for the Ministry of Attorney General in my previous career, I can tell you these homes look fine primarily from the outside but have distinct things to look for on the inside. Some Power of Sale homes were previous grow houses and the costs involved to bring them back to “liveable” homes is quite expensive, not to mention the stigma associated with them and the problem to get them insured by an Insurance Company is extremely hard. So if you are thinking on purchasing one of these homes, think hard and long and know what you are getting yourself into. Here are some tips on identify a Former Grow House and what to look for.

Identifying a Former Grow House:

•Mould in corners where the walls and ceilings meet
•Painted concrete floors in the basement, with circular marks of where pots once were
•Evidence of tampering with the electric meter or the ground around it
•Indications of windows and doors having been sealed
•Unusual or modified wiring on the exterior of the house
•Brownish stains around the soffit that bleed down along the siding
•Concrete masonry patches, or alterations on the inside of the garage
•Patterns of screwholes on the walls
•Alteration of fire places
•Denting on front doors (from police ramming the door)

Identifying Potential Grow House Operators (Purchasers):

•Third party purchasers
•Questionable income sources
•No contract negotiation
•Offers to pay in large amounts of cash; multiple cash transactions
•Multiple down payments on behalf of one individual
•Secretiveness and no reasonable explanations

Identifying Potential Grow House Operators (Renters):

•Did the renter check out every room?

•Did the renter provide proper identification?
•Have references been provided and do they check out?
•Did the renter spend a lot of time viewing the breaker boxes, wiring and plumbing?

Contacts for More Information:

Contact your local police department for more information or specific concerns. In Pickering and Ajax, please call the Durham Regional Police Service or visit their website at

(Source: Compiled with information from the Canadian Real Estate Association and chrismathers inc. crime and risk consulting)