Is marijuana grown indoors really worth double the cost of plants grown outside? Sam Quinones reports for the Los Angeles Times from Arcata, California:
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About the time the wholesale price of pot hit $4,000 a pound, Tony Sasso bought a bulldozer and an excavator and dug a massive hole on his ranch in eastern Mendocino County.
Then he bought four metal shipping containers and buried them in the hole. Inside the containers, Sasso installed 32 1,000-watt lights, a ventilation system and plumbing – all of it powered by a 60-kilowatt generator. His subterranean plantation produced 60 pounds of pot every 56 days, the time it took to turn a crop. They were popular strains, with names like Blueberry, Herojuana, White Widow and Big Red.
He’d begun growing pot as a teenager in the mid-1980s, when police helicopters forced growers to hide their plants indoors. Going underground was the next logical step, to shield the lights from the infrared sensors of law enforcement.