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Field Guide to Marijuana Grow Houses

(Updated Jan 2013)

Nice home, privacy fence, oversized a/c unit are normal attributes of many upscale communities. Who would expect that behind closed doors there might be mold, electrical hazards, structural damage, pesticides and other dangers?

In 2011, over 800 grow houses were seized in Florida alone according to the DEA, but the epidemic does not only impact the state of Florida. Marijuana grow houses are popping up in big cities and small towns, wealthy and low-income neighborhoods across the country—the problem is no longer limited to California and Florida. Home buyers and sellers, landlords and agents, neighbors and community leaders alike can learn how to spot, fix, and understand the impact of marijuana grow houses in this updated field guide. (M. Martinez-Garcia, Manager, Library & Digital Information Repository)

Spotting Grow Houses: Red Flags

Are Your Neighbors Running a Hidden Marijuana Operation?, (AOL Real Estate, July 25, 2012).

Foreclosed Houses Become Homes for Indoor Marijuana Farms, (The New York Times, May 6, 2012).

Marijuana, Inc.: Inside America's Pot Industry, (CNBC.com, July 16, 2009).

TECO: Pot grow houses steal about $1 million a year in electricity, (The Tampa Tribune, May 22, 2009).

Grow ops: what REALTORS® need to know, (The Canadian Real Estate Association, Dec. 2004).

Grow House Remediation Change

Buyer beware: renovated marijuana grow houses can cost money and good health, (Ottowa Public Health Examiner, Dec. 9, 2009).

Home to sprout from grow house, (Tampa Tribune, Sept. 3, 2009). 

A growing solution, (Tampa Bay Online—The Pasco Tribune, Dec. 28, 2008).

Can grow houses be inhabited again, (Tampa Bay Online—Highlands Today, June 24, 2007).

Impact on Property Values

Grow houses crop up in foreclosures, (MSN Money, May 7, 2012).

White paper on marijuana dispensaries, (California Police Chiefs Association, 2009).

A growing problem with marijuana, (Tampa Tribune, May 25, 2009).

Marijuana grow houses: Florida's silently growing epidemic, by Lt. Dale Ritchhart, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit 

Photo Gallery: Inside a Grow House

Photos: Deputies raid grow house, (KPRC Houston, Jan. 24, 2013).

Inside a grow house raid, (Denver Westworld Slideshows, Oct. 13, 2009).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

The Roadmap to Building a Successful Website – What You Should Know Before Doing-It-Yourself or Before Hiring a Web Designer (Adobe eReader)

American Landlord Law (Adobe eReader)

The Complete Landlord.com Ultimate Landlord Handbook (Adobe eReader)

Every Landlord's Legal Guide (Adobe eReader)

What Every Landlord Needs to Know (Adobe eReader)

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Dealing with Stigmatized Properties

Field Guide to Meth Labs

Field Guide to Mold & Health Issues

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.