Huge 'cannabis plant' is spotted growing outside Bristol fish bar

Is this what it looks like? Huge ‘cannabis plant’ is spotted growing outside Bristol fish bar – before it’s swiftly removed by the city council

  • Shoppers noticed the suspicious plant growing in a busy shopping street
  • The street in Clifton Village was recently pedestrianised to improve air quality 
  • The plants were removed shortly after the council was approached for comment 

Visitors relaxing in a busy shopping street noticed something unusual growing in decorative planters – huge cannabis-like plants.

Princess Victoria Street in Clifton Village, Bristol, was pedestrianised during the summer as part of a trial scheme to reduce traffic and improve air quality.

It has been a controversial scheme, with many traders claiming that their takings are down since the area has become traffic-free.

But critics have had something else to go potty about following the emergence of several large cannabis-like plants, sprouting from the planters along the street.

Shoppers and visitors sitting outside first noticed the plants last week, proliferating after the recent rain.

Visitors relaxing in Clifton Village noticed cannabis-like plants growing in decorative planters

Soon after Bristol City Council were contacted for comment about the cannabis plants, they were removed from the planters.

One local trader, who didn’t want to be named, told Bristol Live that they ‘were surprised nobody had spotted Princess Victoria Street had become the city’s largest cannabis farm’.

In May, Paula O’Rourke, who was elected along with Katy Grant as councillors of Clifton ward, said she hadn’t seen the plants herself, although admitted she had been isolating due to Covid.

She said: ‘The planters were provided by Blaise Plant Nursery and planted with a nice variety of annuals and perennials, nothing more exotic.

‘I can only assume, if it is indeed cannabis, that a resident or visitor thought it would be amusing to plant a seed.

‘I don’t think they can have expected to harvest it, as it would be identified, as has happened.’

One of the plants was outside Clifton Village Fish Bar, which has introduced outdoor seating in the road since it was pedestrianised.


Cannabis is an illegal Class B drug in the UK, meaning possession could result in a five year prison sentence and those who supply the drug face up to 14 years in jail.

However, the drug is widely used for recreational purposes and can make users feel relaxed and happy. 

But smoking it can also lead to feelings of panic, anxiety or paranoia.

Scientific studies have shown the drug can alleviate depression, anxiety and stress, but heavy use may worsen depression in the long term by reducing the brain’s ability to let go of bad memories.

It can also contribute to mental health problems among people who already have them, or increase users’ risk of psychosis or schizophrenia, according to research.

Marijuana can be prescribed for medical uses in more than half of US states, where it is used to combat anxiety, aggression and sleeping problems. Researchers are also looking into whether it could help people with autism,eczema or psoriasis.

Cannabis oil containing the psychoactive chemical THC, which is illegal in the UK, is claimed to have cancer-fighting properties, and one 52 year-old woman from Coventry says she recovered from terminal bowel and stomach cancer by taking the drug.

Owner Marco Maestri said: ‘The plants have been there since the council installed the planters when the councillors decided to close the road in August.

‘People always comment about the plants, which some have said are hemp plants.

‘I wouldn’t know – I don’t smoke and never have. I always prefer a nice glass of red!’

Soon after Bristol Live contacted Bristol City Council for a comment about the cannabis plants, it seems that they were removed from the planters.

‘I noticed the plants this morning, however they have since disappeared,’ said antique dealer Stephen Grey-Harris.

‘I didn’t see who removed them, or exactly when, but they were there between 9am, and 10am, and now they’re gone.’

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: ‘Several plants were removed from the planters at Princess Victoria Street this morning. These plants were not among those placed in the planters originally.’

Product: Hemp – which is legal to grow in the UK if a licence is obtained – is a plant that comes from the same species as cannabis

It’s not the first time Bristol has made news for cannabis related activity.

On October 4, police raided and destroyed a large cannabis farm in Downend, an affluent residential suburb of Bristol.

A male was found hiding within the loft area and 50 to 70 plants of the Class B substance were seized in the evening raid.

However, that was nothing compared to the 2,000 plants discovered by police in a warehouse on Jubilee Way near Bristol in March. The plants had an estimated street value of £1.5million.

Back in April, more than 700 people were seen at the Bristol city centre park for ‘420’ – a protest against laws criminalising cannabis, and in part a celebration of the Class B drug.

No arrests were made despite hundreds gathering at Castle Park smoking cannabis. 

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