California Taskforce Seized Nearly 190,000 Pounds of Cannabis Last Year

The Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce in California says it seized nearly 190,000 pounds of illicit cannabis during its first calendar year of operation, valued at nearly $312 million.

Full story after the jump.

California’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) seized nearly 190,000 pounds of illicit cannabis during the taskforce’s first calendar year of operation, and the haul was valued at nearly $312 million, according to a press release. Law enforcement also seized 119 illegally possessed firearms and oversaw the eradication of almost 318,000 cannabis plants.

“California is effectively decreasing the illegal cannabis market by leveraging the strengths and knowledge of over 20 state agencies and departments alongside our local and federal partners. The UCETF’s progress in 2023 reflects California’s ongoing commitment to disrupting and dismantling illegal cannabis activity. I look forward to working with all our partners in 2024 to build on this progress.” — Nicole Elliott, Director of the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC)

The UCETF was launched in mid-2022 and is co-chaired by the Department of Cannabis Control and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, while the Homeland Security Division of Cal Office of Emergency Services coordinates the taskforce’s efforts.

Officials also noted the five California counties that experienced the most enforcement actions and a dollar estimate for the amount of cannabis seized:

  • Alameda County, about $77,828,338.50 worth of cannabis seized
  • Siskiyou, about $70,747,875.00 worth of cannabis seized
  • Mendocino, about $48,073,113.00 worth of cannabis seized
  • Los Angeles, about $28,317,139.69 worth of cannabis seized
  • Kern, about $21,578,438.25 worth of cannabis seized

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton H. Bonham said the taskforce “hit the ground running” in 2023 with year-round enforcement actions that spanned the entire state.

“We’ve sent a strong message that illegal operations that harm our natural resources, threaten the safety of workers, and put consumer health at risk have no place in California,” Bonham said. “While there is more work to be done, we made progress last year and I look forward to going further alongside our county, state, and federal partners.”

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