Businesses find cannabis growing in their flower pots


48-year-old barber Scott Sanders found the distinctive fan-shaped leaves growing between the other plants in his basket. - Credit: Tallulah Wells/Scott Sanders

When businesses in South Woodford signed up to receive plant baskets last year, they may have hoped to bring a touch of green to the high street. 

But they got a big surprise this week when a number found cannabis sprouting up amongst their flowers. 

48-year-old barber Scott Sanders was looking for weed of a different kind on Saturday when he first noticed the distinctive fan-shaped leaves of the plant. 

He recalled: “I was pulling what I thought were normal weeds out here and there, and one just accidentally grew through a flower which I didn’t cut. 

Marijuana plant in front of Woodford South station

At least four businesses have reportedly seen marijuana growing from their planters. - Credit: Tallulah Wells/Scott Sanders

“When I cut the tulips back after they had died, that’s when I noticed this weed plant, and it has doubled in the last four or five days. 

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“It’s hysterical. I thought, ‘how did that get in there?’” 

A client at his hairdressing salon Scott on High Road used an app to scan the plant, confirming its suspected identity.

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Scott said his and other businesses had signed up with Redbridge Council to get the baskets installed. 

He went around other shops which had the baskets and told them that they may have been similarly affected. 

At least four businesses in the area are reported to have cannabis growing in their baskets. 

Scott said that he has found the incident quite amusing, but others were less than impressed. 

Marijuana plant

One of the marijuana plants found by businessman Scott Sanders. - Credit: Tallulah Wells/Scott Sanders

He added: “One of them has taken it all out already, because he didn’t find it funny at all.” 

The plant pots were provided to the businesses in late 2020 and Scott believes they have since been sabotaged. 

He said: “We think it's sabotage because when we got the boxes they (the council) gave us the empty boxes, they gave us bags of stone, bags of soil, and then a separate bag of bulbs. 

“So there’s no way it could have come from them. I reckon someone has literally thrown handfuls of seeds in them.” 

A council spokesperson said a community gardening group informed it last week that there appeared to be some cannabis plants in several South Woodford rail planters.

They added: "Our neighbourhood street scene manager for the area inspected the planters and confirmed this to be the case.

"The plants have now been removed.

"Should any more cannabis plants be discovered, the community gardeners will let us know where they were found and immediately remove them.”

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