CASTLE SHANNON (KDKA) – Police in the South Hills took down a marijuana growing operation in Castle Shannon this week.
However, what police found inside the suburban home is much different from what they expected to find.
All three floors of the house at 3115 Home Avenue were used for growing and processing marijuana. When officers executed a warrant Wednesday morning, they arrested 19-year-old Nikole Medved and 25-year-old John Wanto Jr.
Police say what first tipped them off was an excessive number of cars coming and going at all hours of the day and night.
“Those were the initial complaints, were a lot of foot traffic and that some of the residents had suspected that there were people smoking marijuana in front of the house. We never did catch them,” Castle Shannon Police Chief Ken Truver said.
What they did find was 37 marijuana plants, grow lights, and an extensive ventilation system throughout the home.
But, that’s not all.
They also found waxy marijuana extracts used for something known as dabbing.
“I have been doing this for almost 30 years now and dabbing is not something I am familiar with,” Chief Truver said.
The entire dining room was dedicated to making those byproducts
“That apparently was their dabbing operation, where they would take the marijuana plants and take the concentrated oil from them and use that to create other things. So, the dabbing is like a wax extract of the marijuana plant,” Chief Truver said.
As a result, those who are dabbing may not be smoking pot at all.
“I think the message here is that parents, we are no longer looking for a rolled up marijuana cigarette in your child’s bedroom. If you suspect that there is illicit use of marijuana, instead maybe you look for this wax,” Chief Truver said.
The other issue is that it’s a different kind of high.
“The benefit of dabbing to the drug user is that it’s a more intense and a faster high so you are getting a very, very concentrated portion of the THC extract from the marijuana plant,” Chief Truver said.
Medved and Wanto were charged with manufacture, possession and intent to deliver as well as possession of drug paraphernalia.