Equipment can be bought openly
Loopholes in the law are allowing growhouse operators to purchase cultivation equipment in shops, writes Tom Brady.
The equipment, which was initially designed to help flowers grow in the Netherlands, is being used by the crime gangs to grow herbal cannabis.
Gardai said they cannot take action to stop the sales unless they can prove that the seller is aware that the buyer intends to use the equipment for illegal purposes.
They are also concerned that the law brought in to tackle headshops deals only with cannabis cultivated in water and does not account for plants growing in soil.
"These loopholes need to be closed off urgently," an officer warned last night.