Police have found 250 cannabis plants – inside a former restaurant.
They pounced at 12.30am on Wednesday – and found the cannabis plants in three different rooms.
Now police are hunting for the criminals behind the operation.
Chief Inspector Mark Barlow, commander of Stoke-on-Trent North Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “These cannabis factories are often dangerous set-ups which pose a fire risk and I am always pleased to see them stopped in the city.
“We are delighted to have stopped these drugs from reaching the streets of Stoke-on-Trent. Our investigation is ongoing.”
Utility giant Western Power was called out following the discovery of the cannabis factory. The restaurant was also known as the Tulip Wok.
Paul Clarke, aged 50, who owns Household Discounts, on Ford Green Road, said: “The police were just going when we came to work. It was not a shock. It has been empty for over 12 months and we could smell cannabis every day.
“I’d like to see it open again. At the moment it is just a target for things like that.”
Clare Gibson, aged 36, who works at Smallthorne Beers Wines Spirits, on Ford Green Road, said: “I was shocked when I found out about it. I had walked past it every day and didn’t know. You could smell it, but you can smell cannabis everywhere. Everyone is saying you can still smell it. 250 plants is a massive number of plants, but it is a massive place.”
Police are appealing for witnesses following the discovery of the cannabis factory.
Anyone with any information should call the police on 101, quoting incident number 13 of January 6, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.