Britain’s Secret Cannabis Farms is a 2010 BBC documentary in which Rickie Haywood-Williams journeys follows around a Bristol drug squad while it raids huge cannabis farms which are being run by organized crime syndicates. In 2002 the United Kingdom was growing 15% of its own cannabis, whilst the remainder was being smuggled in via land or sea. By 2009 that figure was closer to 90%, with gangs bypassing customs officers and instead turning normal residential homes and disused industrial buildings into sophisticated factories. It also talks about new stronger strains of cannabis being grown, known as ‘skunk’, which are said to cause serious mental health problems.
Haywood-Williams follows police as they attempt to find and shut down these illegal factories, even using helicopters equipped with the latest heat seeking technology to identify buildings which may be consuming excessive electricity to fuel lighting systems. Featuring in the film is a landlord who is horrified to find that his tenant is part of an organised gang who were renting properties and turning them into cannabis factories. Watch more marijuana documentaries.