A judge told a court there there is a “significant issue” with people setting up cannabis farms on Teesside.
Judge Jonathan Carroll made the remarks while sentencing Alan Williams for a grow which was discovered inside his home.
Officers found 19 cannabis plants, worth between £5,320 and £15,960, as well as heavy duty plastic sheets, lamps and ventilator extractors.
Dr Chris Wood, prosecuting, told the court: “He accepted he has been the sole occupant of the property for four years.
“The plants were not his, he had been growing them for an unknown male to pay off a debt.”
Dr Wood told the court how Williams said he did not use the drug himself and would not profit from the grow.
Williams of Bolckow Road, Grangetown, admitted producing a controlled class B drug.