£2 million cannabis farm found in a former NHS clinic during police raid

An Essex Police spokesperson said: 'Around 800 cannabis plants in various stages of growth were found'

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The Independent Online

Police raiding a former NHS clinic say they have uncovered a £2 million cannabis farm.

Areas of the former clinic, which now houses an unconnected pharmacy business on the ground floor in Harlow, Essex had been converted into a drug farm.

Eight treatment rooms had been stocked with lighting, watering and ventilation equipment for the plants.

Essex police raided the premises yesterday, finding that the growers had also bypassed the building’s electricity meter and installed a £50,000 ventilation system.

 

The cannabis growers moved in after the rooms, previously occupied by the Essex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, fell vacant in March 2014.

The abandoned upstairs rooms are the only part of Wych Elm House involved in the operation, which is close to the  Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Experts believe the farm was worth £2 million and capable of producing an £800,000 crop of super-strong cannabis every six weeks.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: "Around 800 cannabis plants in various stages of growth were found when police executed a search warrant at disused offices close to Harlow town centre early on Sunday morning.

"Officers from Essex Police seized the plants during the operation at Wych Elm House in Hamstel Road.

"Inquiries are continuing."