Suburban house that is actually a concealed indoor marijuana plantation. Grow-ops are usually loaded with high intensity lights for the crop, and often have illegally bypassed electrical meters, both to reduce costs and to prevent their detection by electrical consumption. They are often detected because of their heat -- either via infra-red thermography, or in colder climates, because snow melts on the roof faster than on other houses in the neighborhood. Some larger scale grow ops are installed in larger industrial buildings, rather than in residential areas.
The term is in common use in suburban Canada,
You know that suspicious house down the street? The cops raided it today -- It's a grow op!
A term loosely used by police and those who know nothing about growing or smoking marijuana. In reality, a "grow op" should be a large scale commercial operation with 100's or 1000's of plants, but most are small suburban homes with just a few plants for personal and friendly use. These small indoor gardens attract the attention of police usually after a "rat" has been interrogated. Sadly in Canada, owners of small personal indoor gardens are often charged with having a "grow op" and "production of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking"... even though they got caught with say 10-20 plants and a few ounces of dried bud. It is a sad state of affairs. Prohibition has many victims, but police and courts benefit greatly.
Detective: "It was a grow op, so we are charging you with production for the purpose."
Accused: "But it was only 10 plants and a quarter pound of bud!"