A CANNABIS farm growing more than 700 plants indoors, using artificial light and hydroponics, has been uncovered by Police.

Acting on a tip-off, Greater Manchester Police raided a property in Victoria Parade, Urmston, last weekend, and found the plants 'at various stages of growth'.

"This seizure has taken a large amount of drugs off the street," said a GMP spokesman.

In an odd parallel with current work on 'vertical farming' systems to grow leafy vegetables and herbs indoors in city locations, illegal cannabis farms require very carefully calibrated inputs in terms of light, heat and nutrition.

To be of value as a crop, growers need 'female' plants that produce thick resinous buds – but plants under nutrient or light stress will revert to 'male' biology, and yield little of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol sought by drug users.