Curtain falls on marijuana grow-op in Canada cinema

Thu Sep 9, 2010 5:44pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A marijuana-growing operation housed in an abandoned Canadian movie theater has been shut down by police, officials said on Thursday.

Around 416 marijuana plants and about 4.5 kilograms of harvested marijuana were found in the theater in the town of Grenfell, in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they raided the theater on Wednesday after a man was arrested trying to enter Canada from North Dakota with a small amount of what was suspected to be hashish in his car.

Police said the man was also carrying documents that suggested the presence of a sophisticated grow operation in Saskatchewan.

A movie theater is not the oddest place to house a grow-op in recent Canadian history.

In 2004, police found more than 25,000 marijuana plants growing inside an abandoned Molson brewery in Barrie, Ontario. Even the cavernous vats once used to brew beer were full of marijuana.

Official figures on marijuana grow-ops in Canada are in short supply, but a 2009 Ontario police report said they had reached "epidemic proportions".

(Reporting by Julie Gordon; editing by Peter Galloway)