Over $68 million in illegal cannabis was seized by California authorities during a recent crackdown.
The operation targeted the illicit cannabis market where 24 search warrants were served at multiple locations from July 11 through 13, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Unlicensed commercial cannabis cultivation sites were discovered in the Whitney Creek, Harry Cash, and Shasta Vistas areas of Siskiyou County in Northern California. Agents involved in the operation were a part of the state’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce.
During the crackdown, authorities seized:
– 67,045 illegal cannabis plants
– 8,019.75 pounds of illegal processed cannabis worth an estimated $68.5 million
– A dozen firearms confiscated
The illegal cultivation sites were associated with suspected environmental violations, including the use of unlawful pesticides and other toxic chemicals, authorities said.
“These dangerous chemicals not only degrade California’s natural resources, but also endanger workers and others exposed to them,” officials said.
The Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce was created in 2022 and includes more than two dozen local, state, and federal partners working together to “disrupt the illegal cannabis market.”
During the Q2 period of April through June 2023, over $109 million in illegal cannabis was seized by California authorities which marked a 104 percent increase from Q1.
“California is taking immediate and aggressive action to stop illegal cannabis and strengthen the burgeoning legal market throughout the state,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “By shutting down illegal grow sites and applying serious consequences to offenders, we are working to curtail the criminal organizations that are undercutting the regulated cannabis market in California.”