Hundreds of cannabis plants with a street value of more than £250,000 have been found above an Indian restaurant in Tipton.
Police discovered the haul after workers at businesses near Moonlight restaurant complained about feeling light-headed. Officers visited the premises, in Great Bridge, and found 629 plants in three upstairs bedrooms as well as two fans, 38 lights and 38 transformers. Two men, aged 28 and 25, have been arrested on suspicion of cannabis production.
They have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
One worker at the Eye Style Opticians, who asked not to be named, said: “For about two weeks we have noticed a really off smell. We just thought it was because the building was old and had been using air freshioners to mask it.
“Then the customers starting asking about it so we thought it must be something else- maybe gas.
“We have been getting loads of headaches and feeling dizzy.”
Ken Wooding, director of tool shop The Tool Market, which is based close to the indian restaurant, said a number of workers in the area had been affected.
“Drinking in pubs in West Bromwich I am used to feeling a bit light-headed,” he said. “I wasn’t too bad but some of the girls in the opticians were.”
Marc Patrick, manager of Alan Warwick Butchers, next door to the restaurant, said: “We did not notice anything in here but that could be to do with the fact the meat has been masking the smell.”
Sgt Stuart Roberts, of Sandwell police, confirmed a cannabis farm had been discovered above the restaurant on Monday and thanked local businesses for reporting it.
“This is a substantial drugs haul,” he said.
“We would not have been able to make these arrests and seize these drugs had it not been for the calls we received. We are treating this very seriously and are dealing with it robustly.”
Last week about £9,000 of cannabis was found in an old factory, in Toll End Road.