In California, a 39-county sting operation at 250 illegal cannabis cultivation sites resulted in the arrest of 52 people and the seizure of more than 614,000 plants, authorities said Thursday.
The raids signal yet more acceleration by state and local authorities to rein in black-market operators, which licensed operators argue cause distinct harm to their businesses.
Here are some of the most recent enforcement activities:
- The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Cannabis Enforcement team destroyed more than 8,500 cannabis plants at two unlicensed grows. The plants were valued at more than $4.3 million.
- Separately, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office destroyed 5,473 marijuana plants valued at about $2.7 million at three unlicensed grows.
- The Kern County Sheriff’s Office raided three Oildale dispensaries, arrested five men and confiscated more than 43 marijuana plants, 280 pounds or flower, 1,228 packages of edibles and more than 17,800 grams of cannabis concentrates. Recreational marijuana is illegal in Kern County.
- Separately, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office raided two Northwest Bakersfield dispensaries, arrested seven people and seized 73 pounds of marijuana, more than 6,200 grams of concentrates, 1,035 packages of edibles and 17 marijuana plants.
- The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office destroyed 2,139 cannabis plants in a raid on an alleged illegal cultivation operation in Blocksburg. The cultivators face up to $121,000 in violations per day.
- The California Highway Patrol arrested a Florida man who was transporting 850 pounds of cannabis that he allegedly planned to sell on the black market to cannabis retailers.