Cultivator sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, with a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

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A 47-year-old man showed plenty of nerve by illegally growing cannabis around the corner from a police station in Liverpool, U.K., but exhibited far less sense when he left his flat windows open so anyone could smell the weed.

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Harvest time can be a stinky time, something that grower John Clague and, ultimately, the police found out last year.

Apparently opting to air out the flat, it didn’t take long for officers from the nearby Marsh Lane Police Station to simply follow their noses and uncover the illegal grow, court recently heard, per the Liverpool Echo.

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The judge, Recorder David Knifton, QC, told the court: “If it wasn’t so serious, it would almost be the stuff of comedy,” according to The Washington Newsday.

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Recreational cannabis remains illegal throughout the U.K. While possession is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison, an unlimited fine or both, illicit cultivation ups the potential prison time to 14 years.

It didn’t take a whole lot of policing to find the illicit stash in late March of 2020. After officers returning to the police station yard detected the skunky odour, “the police followed their noses and strolled around the area until they identified the source of the odour,” The Washington Newsday reports.

The homeowner readily admitted he was stripping the plants and the police search revealed the remainder of the crop, according to the Liverpool Echo.

There were reportedly two plants in a growing tent in one room and 10 plants in the kitchen, eight of which the father of three was stripping in the living room when police arrived, the publication reports. Approximately 950 grams of weed had already been divided into 33 baggies.

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Although Clague initially said he was growing the marijuana to make cannabis oil, he later admitted that his intent was to use some of the stash himself and supply the rest to “a circle of associates.”

Knifton reportedly ordered a sentence of 10 months in prison, suspended for two years, with a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement. Clague, who had previously expressed his intention to do “whatever it takes” to avoid being imprisoned, is also subject to a home curfew for four months.

The accused was hardly the first, and unlikely will be the last, illegal grower to be sniffed out by smell. Just last month, linked air-conditioning units on the roof of a local factory picked up neighbouring scents and led police to two nearby properties. Officers found about £200,000 ($350,000) worth of cannabis.

Sometimes, police identify illegal grow-ops using both their noses and ears. In May, police found a grow-op with 1,000-plus plants outside of Glasgow when they were tipped off by the smell of weed and the sound of industrial fans.

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SOURCE: https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-news/47-year-old-man-had-illegal-grow-op-not-far-from-liverpool-police-station