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Marijuana grow-house lights now used for tomatoes

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In recent years, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office has collected $20,000 worth of equipment used in illegal operations to grow marijuana — lights, fans, electrical transformers and other materials.

Now the equipment is being used to grow tomatoes, basil and peppers, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

It's common for law enforcement agencies to auction off illicit equipment culled from illegal operations, but investigators in St. Louis County were worried the pot-growing materials might just end up in another grow house, the newspaper reports.

So they donated it to Superior’s Challenge Center, a nonprofit that helps support people with disabilities and empowers them to work. The center is well-known for its Bay Produce vegetables, which can be found at grocery stores along the North Shore.

"The equipment will now go to a good cause and won’t end up in the wrong hands," St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman told the News Tribune.

The gift was a big boost for the organization. "We're a nonprofit and the value of the lights alone is like $14,000, so it's just a great, great gift," Richard Fisher, head grower at Bay Produce, told WDIO TV.

Fisher told Northland's Newscenter that he expects the lights might help produce the center's best crop ever this year.

Police around the nation have made similar donations. Authorities in Indiana last year donated pot lights to a children’s club with an indoor vegetable garden. And police in Tennessee donated thousands of dollars worth of equipment to a high school horticulture program.

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