Taken from Opus 420’s memoirs, ‘Totally Guerrilla, Confessions of a Lifelong Pot Grower’
As soon as Franklin opened the bay door and I drove in, I got my first look at the inside of the place. Holy shit, it was huge: almost 4,000 square feet. There was a small counter along the front section and the start of a partition wall had already been built. Through an open door in a far back corner I could see a small bathroom. The rest was just wide open space with ballasts, wire, and mogul sockets in a large pile and a number of reflectors lined up along the far wall. I looked at my friends in disbelief, I couldn’t believe they were going to flash this place up. “What are you guys thinking!?”
A coffee pot was produced from the bathroom and over that and some hearty joints Franklin and Ben laid it out for me. A twenty light show: 15,000 watts for the bud room and 5,000 watts of light in the veg room. In one of the rooms upstairs they planned to hang ten four-foot double fluorescent lamps to keep the clones going. The other two upstairs rooms would be used to dry the weed—all with charcoal filters.
I was impressed. The warehouse was already wired for heavy industrial use; I don’t know what the service was coming in there but I’d have to say 500 amps at least. A normal home has a 200 amp service and some older homes have only 100 amps. I lived in a trailer once with only a 60 amp service—no chance of plugging in a 1000 watt HID lamp there.
Here was the rub, Franklin had a good, steady, professional job and Ben worked a service job he needed to keep. So they needed someone to help out, i.e. do most of the work. They had the necessary investment, had secured this property, and had almost all the equipment they needed, but what they both soon realized was they didn’t have the time to really spend in the grow, part of the reason so much equipment was on the floor, so had decided they needed a partner. That’s where I came in.
Seeing as I wasn’t doing anything of importance and didn’t have a job at the time I was ready to jump right in. Franklin said he would let the rental company know who I was and he gave me keys and the alarm code. I told the boys I would be there first thing next morning and would start setting up. My new partners both said they would be here to help after they got off work.
Now you and I both know how that usually goes: you wait around for a few hours thinking ‘where are those guys?’ and when you call it’s always some lame-ass excuse like ‘I forgot’ or ‘I was tired’. As it was, while I worked the next day, I got calls from both my new partners letting me know they wouldn’t be in that night. But I was happy since I had framed in the last of our partition wall that was going to separate the real business from the front end counter. I also had all the fixtures laid out where they were to go, and had the outlines done for the partition walls in the grow rooms. But hanging lights, wires, and ducting really is a two person job so I went home early after a ten hour day. I didn’t waste any time wondering when my partners were going to show up—communication is great.
I wasn’t doing it alone for long, though. Once we all got down to it the set-up took us about 3 full days—with all the extra trips to the hardware store, lumber mart, HVAC supply store, and the hydroponics store—but soon we had a kick-ass looking grow. I was impressed; it’s nice to have the capitol to do things right and the boys had a boatload of money invested.
The partition wall separating the gardens from the front of the store was 4 inches thick with a plastic vapour barrier and fibreglass insulation to muffle sounds and smells. We even mudded all the joints on both sides. On the front side, a wood-working business, we had brackets for holding lumber and some shelves for tools and boxes. A work bench, table saw, band saw, and lathe took up most of the rest of the space.
The rest of our wood-working front was a small but complete wood shop Franklin had at his home. We moved it into a front section near the big door so we could open that anytime and it looked like we had a business going on. In fact, I spent many hours running saws and cutting plywood scraps into smaller scraps and then nailing them together just to make cover noise. Franklin even turned out some tables and bookshelves for himself though we made it look like they were built for a customer.
Anyone who thinks growing marijuana is easy doesn’t have a fucking clue.
The set up served us well for nearly fifteen months before we got notice the property was being put up for sale. I felt bad killing off so many plants but we had no choice, there was just nowhere to take them. We spun the realtors a tale about why it was empty and that was that.
Lucky for us back then people were very naive about pot production and they never gave our erstwhile grow a second glance.