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A more potent type of marijuana is starting to show up in Bryan-College Station. It doesn't look much different than regular pot. But the way it's grown gives it an extra kick and that adds up to more profit for drug dealers and a bigger problem for police.
College Station police are cracking down on pot. They've made several arrests over the past few weeks involving possession of marijuana. But there's one type that has them concerned. It's called hydroponic marijuana and it's known for being more potent than regular pot.
" The hydroponic marijuana tends to be more in demand because of the greater effect it has on the user and as a result the same amount of hydroponic marijuana has a higher street value than the same amount of quote, un-quote regular marijuana," said College Station Police Sgt. Chuck Fleeger.
So what makes hydroponic different? What does it mean? Dr. Travis Miller with Texas A&M's Soil and Crop Sciences Department explains.
" What it involves is growing in a greenhouse environment, provide light when needed. The root system of the plant is immersed in a water solution that has nutrients," said Miller.
" As a result of a lot of different factors involving the cultivation, the marijuana ends up with a higher THC factor. THC is the element in the marijuana that when the user ingests it, it gives them the high feeling," said Fleeger.
Police say hydroponic marijuana is relatively easy to grow. Many people grow it in their own home. In a recent bust College Station police recovered over 150 grams of hydroponic marijuana with a street value of over $3,000.
Police say busts like these will help them cut down on crime as a whole.
" We've made a concentrated effort to seek out these types of offenses because we believe that narcotics, narcotics trafficking, and narcotics usage is tied to a lot of other types of crimes," said Fleeger.
Police say criminal investigations of any kind can often lead to drugs. It's this refined way of growing marijuana that has police especially concerned.