Marijuana growth in Alabama changing

State and county authorities seize more than 900 marijuana plants in northern Jackson County on Tuesday.

They were discovered in a few areas near County Road 91 in northeast Jackson County on Tuesday.

It’s part of the state’s eradication effort to find marijuana growing in Alabama.

Methods of growing marijuana have changed over the years.

Former federal drug agent turned chief deputy, Rocky Harnen, in Jackson County said growers are trying to be smarter both in making a better plant and hiding them.

Officials discovered some 400 of the plants found appeared to be of extremely good quality.

Harnen said of the two locations hit on Tuesday at least one appeared that the plants were grown hydroponically before they were placed in the ground.

“And when I say hydroponically, they don’t use dirt, they use water and by doing that they can actually make more potent marijuana and better marijuana by being able to get more nutrients and vitamins into the plant itself by the water,” said Harnen.

He said getting them off to a good start will insure bigger and better buds for the plant.

With the use of flying to seek out the illegal plants, Harnen said growers are also practicing techniques to do what they can to best hide their operation including the growing of marijuana indoors, which will also make a better plant.

“Now what they’ve done is if they grow it outside they have smaller patches in more areas and their hope is you may find one or two of their patches and miss two or three more and still make plenty of money,” said Harnen.

But even though there are many other drugs out there, Harnen said there is still a lot of money in the illegal marijuana trade.

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