After receiving complaints from neighbors about an overwhelming smell emanating from a large marijuana grow operation, the Seattle Police Narcotics Unit and Anti-Crime Team officers served a warrant—signed a King County District Court judge—at a home and a warehouse in West Seattle and another house on Beacon Hill Tuesday evening, and recovered what detectives say is an unprecedented number of illegally-grown marijuana plants.
After police began an investigation into the two homes and warehouse—in the 2400 block of S. Morgan St, 6500 block of 44th Ave SW and 2600 block of SW Yancy St respectively—detectives learned the three illegal marijuana grows were operating under the guise of a medical marijuana collective and were growing far more plants than allowed under state law.
The West Seattle warehouse had more than 2200 plants alone, well over the 45 plant limit allowed for medical marijuana grows in Washington. Police seized 206 and 227 plants at the two homes.
All told 2663 plants and 86 pounds of processed marijuana were seized during the operation. Detectives say this is the largest illegal marijuana grow operation they can recall investigating.
Police also believe the owner of the grow operation was harvesting marijuana from the grow operation and selling it through a dispensary—which he also owns—violating the state’s regulations on collective gardens.
Detectives left 45 marijuana plants at each location, along with 72 ounces of processed marijuana and growing equipment, and let the growers at each site select which plants they wanted to keep. Detectives were interested only in bringing the operation back under the limits of state law, and in addition to leaving plants and equipment at the scenes, also opted not to book anyone involved in the operation into jail.