Sector Crisis management and relief

Environmental safety of cannabis grow rooms


The cultivation of hemp is prohibited in the Netherlands. Despite this, there are an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 hemp farms in the country, a large proportion of which are located in homes, exposing neighbouring residents to safety risks. In 4,500 of the 6,000 hemp farms dismantled annually, the power grid is found to be dangerously overloaded. Each year, electricity to the value of €200 million is illegally tapped and at least 65 house fires occur as a result of hemp cultivation. The Dutch Safety Board views this as a serious cause for concern, which has prompted it to examine the safety risks affecting people living near hemp farms.
The commercial cultivation of hemp involves the use of a great deal of equipment in the homes in question. However, homes are not designed for this purpose and are therefore unsuitable for such activity. To make hemp cultivation possible, numerous modifications are necessary. The possible consequences of carrying out these modifications without proper knowledge and expertise include fire, collapsing of the building and harm to the health of neighbouring residents.
To improve the safety of people living near hemp farms, public and private parties must work together and take measures to prevent unsafe situations caused by hemp cultivation. This requires a different way of thinking, one that focuses not on the illegal nature of cultivation, but on the unsafe situations such activity creates for neighbouring residents.


  • Start date 14 jul. 2016
  • End date 1 mrt. 2018
  • Type investigationFull
  • Status investigationClosed

Board member for this project


  • Approximately ten per cent of fires in buildings in the Netherlands are linked to the presence of illegal cannabis nurseries. This kind of fire also entails risks to the surrounding area, certainly when it occurs in a residential neighbourhood. For this reason, the Dutch Safety Board has launched an investigation into the physical safety risks associated with indoor cannabis growing. The Dutch Safety Board is seeking to learn the extent of the risks cannabis nurseries pose to residential areas, as well as to find an explanation for why these risks are currently neither recognised nor controlled.

    In the course of the investigation, the Safety Board will explore options including initiatives of various parties aimed at combining data from the Dutch government and businesses in order to detect cannabis-growing operations. The investigation is intended to reveal which parties can contribute to localising illegal cannabis nurseries and what measures these parties are taking in order to prevent or minimise risks to the public.