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Introduction: During the 1970's, most marijuana was grown in outdoor areas that were hard to find and were not readily visible to law enforcement. However, with new law enforcement techniques, including aircraft for surveillance, these large outdoor operations have become more vulnerable to detection and in much of the country growth is seasonally limited by temperature and light. In addition, restricting the pollination of the female plants in the outdoors is more difficult thereby limiting the 8-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content of the buds. These factors have contributed to an increase in indoor marijuana grow operations.

Indoor marijuana grow operations (MGO's) enable a year-long growing season in which conditions can be tightly controlled, resulting in plants with higher THC content per plant. A number of environmental factors must be monitored and kept in balance including the amount of light, the day-night periodicity, the carbon dioxide level, the humidity level and the temperature. In addition, the plants must be provided with adequate nutrition and pests must be kept under control. Although these production factors could be provided in a greenhouse, such a growth area is very likely to be spotted by law enforcement officials or individuals wishing to steal the crop. In order to prevent detection, MGO's are frequently established in a house or a portion of a house that can be easily confined. Since a residential structure is not designed to function as a greenhouse, contamination by pesticides and fertilizers is more difficult to control, moisture can cause damage to building materials and result in excessive mold growth, and the risk of fire is significantly increased.

National Jewish Study - Health Effects Associated with Indoor Marijuana Grows

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