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Inside Britain's biggest weed greenhouse

Most people don't know the British government allows cannabis to be grown on an industrial scale, never mind the fact that the UK is the world's largest exporter of medicinal weed products. For residents of Downham Market—a sleepy east Anglian town that was overpowered by a dank aroma this time last year—it's old news.

"The smell was so bad it was giving me headaches," recalls Marsden. "It reeked."

Baffled locals searched for the source of the stench for days, sparking a local mystery that worked its way into the national press. Some believed it was manure, others were convinced it was onions, some thought it was fertilizer—but one theory soon gained consensus, before an "odor consultant" confirmed the smell was indeed that of weed.

Seven miles away from the historic market town, within a monolithic industrial complex, sits the biggest weed greenhouse in Britain. Last year, its owners, British Sugar, stopped growing tomatoes in the 18-hectare [44-acre] greenhouse and quietly began producing cannabis.

Scarcely believing it himself, a Vice reporter decided to head down and take a whiff for the anniversary of what is known locally as the "Big Smog" approached.


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