Licensed pot grow busted in Centralia for cultivating too much marijuana

A 56-year-old man was arrested in northeast Centralia Wednesday morning for cultivating and manufacturing marijuana inside a home where police discovered 160 marijuana plants.

Forty of those plants, however, remain at the house because the homeowner is a licensed medical marijuana card holder.

Home renter Bradley Andrews was arrested at 10 a.m. after police served a search warrant at 1335 Kulien Ave. He also is a licensed medical marijuana card holder. He is charged with growing more marijuana than his license allows.

"Just because you have a medical marijuana certificate doesn't mean you can have that many plants," Centralia Police Chief Bob Berg said.

The plants left behind were seedlings, police said. They belong to homeowner Mary McNutt, 49, who lives in the Tenino area.

Neighbors, wishing to remain anonymous, watched from the street as police carried pot plants in large plastic buckets out the front door. They said they suspected marijuana had been grown inside the home for at least the past five years. They pointed to two air conditioning units ó one connected to a garage ó that curiously always ran and the redolent aroma of marijuana that often could be smelled from the street.

"As soon as the door opened, it just rolled out of the house," Centralia Police Sgt. Pat Fitzgerald said of the smell.

Plants ranged in maturity from seedlings to fully grown.

Two bedrooms of the house and the garage were used for the grow operation, which was equipped with an irrigation system, timers and lights, but lacked professional sophistication, police said.

About 40 plants were mature; police estimated they have a street value of $2,500.

Police did not discover a large supply of bud ready for distribution.

"There was some stuff that's bagged, but not in excessive quantity," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald noted Andrews was convicted on residential burglary in the 1970s in California.