Inside a cannabis grow house in the San Fernando Valley

An indoor cannabis farmer invited a television reporter to visit his growing operation. He said he has 40 employees, seven indoor gardens, and earns $420,000 a year.

Mike admits his landlord doesn’t know he’s an urban farmer. His latest round of "OG Kush" will yield some 150 pounds of marijuana, a value of $510,000 turning over every 10 weeks. Mike’s partners at dispensaries in the Southland then sell the OG Kush by 1/8 of an ounce – sometimes more – charging $40 to $60 each.

"My biggest concern is staying out of the way of the Feds," he said, "but I don’t see myself doing anything else."

Inside a Marijuana Grow House in the San Fernando Valley


      1. That’s why weed should be legalized pronto. Don’t let an underground, semi-illegal economy grow, or else you’ll have tremendous trouble changing it. Today there are drug cartels, tomorrow there will be cannabis lobbyists.

  1. Wow, so if he gets busted, his landlord gets the shaft. Not sure I want to buy from that guy. Know your grower.

  2. “$420k a year is his salary, he’s not really making a profit”.. lol.  I wonder how he files his income taxes?  Is he laundering the money?

    1. Since 1983 you can’t write of expenses of illegal enterprises. So his total revenue is what he’d have to pay taxes on to stay away from tax avoidance charges.

      1. Yeah. I’m sure he files W2s for all of his employees and himself. And the IRS never fails to commend him for tidy penmanship.

        @boingboing-2d80d61b0a7d708754400f4a2d2d57d2:disqus , of course he’s not paying any taxes. You can’t exactly report that as your occupation.

  3. 150 pounds? No wonder the feds have been raiding these farmers.

    I feel for him, but, when you’re growing *THAT* much?  I thought one of the provisions of the medical thing was that you’re supposed to grow it yourself?

  4. I just don’t get the “war” against weed.  Outside of a few choice examples (and every one can be countered with an alcohol related one) there isn’t a valid reason to not legalize pot.

    And tax the ever living shit out of it.

    I was born and live in NC where at one time the cash crop was tobacco.  I remember when a carton of cigarettes was $15 here (my parents smoked).  Then came all the taxes and look people still buy them at 3 times that price.  Sure there has been some slow down in sales, but hell if our state wanted to fix it’s deficit problem right there is a new cash crop that could do it.

    Now the war on drugs and legalizing other things, well I’m more in a gray area.  The only way pot is a gateway drug is the fact you can’t go and buy it at a store.  Once you are “breaking the law” then you might be tempted to explore more than if you didn’t have to.  I’ve never done pot, but I’d try it if I could easily (and legally) get it.

    1. “I just don’t get the “war” against weed. ”

      Do you know many pot smokers? Have you noticed the free thinking tendencies of those people? That’s my 2c.

      1. Now that I’ve been in the working world I don’t know as many (in college…well hell I was the minority).  Or at least people who openly say they do.

        I’m Republican and I attribute it to GOP talking points and lots of propaganda over the last 60 years.

        1. I wasn’t intending to challenge the quality of your observations, my apologies if that was taken that way. I meant to be asking if you agree that most pot smokers tend to be less…. likely to adhere to the short lawn, short hair, 2.5 kids model of America?

          And I think the reticence to join in with that model of America is the primary reason for the war on drugs. I believe that weed tends to cause people to question some social norms, and that questioning reduces homogeneity in the culture, and a lot of people need that model of homogeneity to feel safe. I hope that answered your question much more directly.

          1. The large portion of the population that dabbles really undermines that theory.

            Plenty of your conformists are pot smokers (and the other way around, plenty of heavy pop smokers are just a different sort of conformist).

          2. I’m not saying 100% of people who have used are unlikely to follow the model which gives others comfort and disrupt their thing.  Plenty of people play along with polite society in the open, like going to church on sunday after a saturday night at the brothel.

            What -I- was trying to get across is that I think regular potheads are more likely to drop out from all the tuning in. And while it’s not dangerous per se to society, from a very conservative God, Country, 9/11, Mom and Apple Pie point of view – it’s a seemingly real threat.

          3. I see what you are saying better now, sorry about that.

            I really think it depends on the age and usage levels you are talking about.  College age people are probably more likely to tune out because they have less experience in the working world.  (I know retired adults who smoke a fair amount and they are pretty tuned out as well.)  As people age hopefully they mature some, and things like the 2.5 kids become more inside their realm of thought.  Honestly the youth are always pushing against the set ways of the old people.  Short hair, hell now it’s tattoos and piercings.  The social norm is moving further away from the classic 1950 conservative viewpoint year by year.  Frankly I don’t have a huge problem with that, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my life.  I think weed has become a big enough part of the youth culture over the last few decades that at some point you’ll see a paradigm shift of more people supporting it simply from everyone getting older.  The homogeneity they seek is the one they grew up with, much like older people wanting to go back to the Mayberry way of life.

          4. I agree almost entirely with you. It think the issue is the people who cross into the belief that what someone else does in private,somehow affects Mayberry the way they claim it does, even without any data to prove it. I can’t agree that we’re all on a natural progression to turn into those people as we age. But people do tend to become more conservative as they age.

            I guess my problem is that a lot of people make money from the war on drugs. Same as any other war. It’s never a good thing when you realize you’ve been lied into a war. Makes you ask a lot of the same questions that the ‘troublemakers’ in Mayberry were trying to bring up at the time that our forces were being marshaled to war.

            Most Americans don’t openly question war much. Most potheads seem to, to the point of distraction if the friends in my own facebook feed are any indication. 

  5. What the hell BoingBoing?  I click on the video and I get an ad, without volume control, that is easily twice as loud as the video.  I understand the need for ads, but c’mon.
    /end bitching.

      1.  A warning would’ve been nice.  I’m lucky I had headphones plugged in at my desk, but even then I could clearly hear the entire ad.

        1. Plus, you cannot make meth without creating a hazardous waste dumping site. Wheras it is possible to grow plants inside without ruing your house automatically.

        2. who grows tomatoes inside?

          People whose tomatoes are worth several thousand dollars a pound, people who want to grow out of season, people whose climate isn’t suitable for outdoor growing, people who want a higher yield than they can get outside…

    1. Do you think it requires a grow operation to have a mold problem in a house?
      Sure, in this case, the growers may have been careless and destructive, but anyone renting out a house should be prepared for destructive tenants.Rent to someone with 3 cats and 2 dogs and watch your house be destroyed. Do we blame the animals? No. We blame the tenants.

  6. “My biggest concern is staying out of the way of the Feds,” he said

    …so I’m going to call NBC to see if they’ll do a news segment about my growhouse.

  7. Anyone interested in the business of marijuana should really watch “The Union.” It’s a documentary filmed in BC (infamous for the quality of pot and how prevalent it is here). The film tours a now abandoned grow up that buried truck trailers underground and ran generators to power the lights. It’s very well done, and available for free on YouTube (legally):

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