Graeme Carlton, 54, was found guilty of involvement in the farm in Forester Close, Seaton Carew, after a trial at Teesside Crown Court.
The court heard two policemen were drawn to the property by the smell while on patrol in the area early on February 19 in 2019.
The remains of a cannabis farm were found in an outbuilding which had high intensity lighting to help the plants grow.
Carlton was present at the address but told the police they could not enter without a warrant.
Officers described finding the remains of 63 plants and a large bag of harvested cannabis in the garden.
One officer described hearing a cutting noise before searching the address.
A police drugs expert valued the plants at between £17,000 and £52,000 if they had reached maturity.
But the quality of the plants was said to be poor and likely to be towards the lower end of value.
Carlton said he had rented out some stables to a third party and did not know cannabis was going to be grown.
When he discovered it, he said he chopped the plants down and bagged it up and left it for the people responsible to take away.
He refused to name the person he rented the building to out of fear of reprisals.
Carlton, of Forester Close, Hartlepool, said he cut down the plants a few days before the police raid.
The jury found him guilty of being concerned in the production of a controlled drug.
He was granted bail and will be sentenced in September.