Definition - What does Grow Op mean?
The term 'grow op' is short for grow operation. It is a common expression used by law enforcement and in the media to refer to residential homes that are growing marijuana indoors.
However, when used by those in the cannabis cultivation industry, the term simply refers to a facility, individual, or business engaged in growing and selling marijuana.
Due to its extensive use by police, the word grow op is viewed by the general public to have a negative connotation, even when it is being used to refer to a licensed producer's facility. Other words for grow op are 'grow show' (positive connotation) or simply 'grow room' (neutral connotation).
Hydrolife explains Grow Op
In the early days of cannabis cultivation, when doing so was, for the most part, banned or illegal, growers had to conceal their activities in their suburban homes. Once/if they were caught by police, their property generally became labeled a grow op by neighbors, in the media, and by future realtors. In fact, this is still often the case for busts in North America.
The term grow op, when used in this way, refers to the act of growing marijuana on one's personal property. Grow ops need to be tailored for the needs of cannabis plants. For example, they have to be wired to accommodate a lot of high-intensity grow lights, waterproofed, ventilated, make use of security systems via alarms and pets, and have a solution in place for heating, cooling, and odor control. They are often extensively intricate spaces, hence the moniker 'operation'.
Grow ops are often busted by police for their higher than average electricity use or via infra-red thermography in colder climates. Many home buyers are weary of buying a residence that was a former grow op, so this term comes up a lot in real estate transactions.
With more and more legalization of marijuana happening around the globe, the term grow op might one day be replaced, or take on a more positive or neutral meaning. Instead of 'grow op', substitute words can be used: licensed producer, licensed facility, commercial growroom, grow, indoor gardening, indoor farming, cannabis farmer, etc. All of these words have a more positive connotation that the word grow op.