The Western Cape Hawks discovered what is being called a “sophisticated” dagga-growing laboratory in the affluent Cape Town suburb of Constantia. Their Narcotics Enforcement Bureau and Crime Intelligence Unit stumbled upon the lab when they raided the house.
According to the Hawks, the growers are “quite sophisticated” and do extensive research on how to successfully grow the plant indoors.
“During the search, the team found cannabis oils, dagga plant materials and seeds, as well as cannabis extracting equipment and chemicals. Computers and the lab equipment, as well as a total of R180 000 in cash – suspected to be the proceeds of crime – were also seized and are subject to further investigation,” Captain Philani Nkwalase said.
Although no arrests have yet been made, investigations are still ongoing. Hawks has also noted a number of hydroponic lab busts across the country of late.
Earlier this month, the Hawks discovered a lab in a Picketberg church hall. The plants were estimated to be worth R700 000. Another hydroponic lab was also bust in Gordon’s Bay in February.
The Constitutional Court ruled in 2018 that private and personal consumption of dagga is not a criminal offence. However, it did not rule on the selling and distribution of dagga, which remains a crime.