A POLICE drug raid has netted almost $2 million in cannabis plants at houses near Daylesford.
Members of the Ballarat Divisional Response Unit seized more than 800 mature cannabis plants from two neighbouring properties in Wheatsheaf, just north of Daylesford on Tuesday morning.
Two vehicles and other property were also seized from the Gays Road properties and will be forensically tested.
Ballarat Police Inspector Darren Tanis estimated the street value of the find to be worth between $1.6 million and $2 million.
He said the grow houses were very sophisticated and plants varied in maturity.
"The location of the crop houses at Wheatsheaf is significant and investigators believe it will impact on the trafficking of commercial quantities of cannabis," Inspector Tanis said.
RAW FOOTAGE: DAVID JEANS
"An initial investigation conducted by Daylesford police assisted in the overall investigation," he said.
DRU members arrested two men, aged 49 and 59, on one of the properties at 3pm on Monday before returning the next day.
They are believed to be from Melbourne's western suburbs.
Inspector Tanis said investigations would be ongoing to identify other participants.
The find is reflective of a growing trend of drug houses located in regional areas, Inspector Tanis said.
"We are targeting the trafficking of cannabis to reduce harm within the community," he said.
"Intelligence indicates offenders conducting grow houses are spreading wider into rural areas."
Neighbour Terri Burmeister, who was walking with her three young children, said she was not surprised a drug house had been located just down the road because isolated location.
"It doesn't look very suspicious, it just looks like a normal house," she said.
Inspector Tanis said the Wheatsheaf grow houses were the first located in the Daylesford region in recent years.
The two men arrested on Monday are expected to front Ballarat Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
If you have any knowledge of such premises or suspicious activity, contact Ballarat Police on 5336 6000 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.