Law enforcement officials in Siskiyou County, California have seized 19,088 illegally grown cannabis plants in the last month, according to a News 10 report. The actions were led by the Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team along with county sheriffs and the California Army National Guard’s Counter-Drug Unit.
During a June 21 raid, 4,824 plants and 454 pounds of processed cannabis products were seized from 11 Mt. Shasta Vista properties. Officials estimated that the crops would total between $28.9 million and $43.4 million on the illicit market, while each plant – which they estimated would net about three pounds – would be worth up to $3,000 in legal retail markets. In a raid one week prior, law enforcement officers seized 2,818 plants from another Mt. Shasta Vista site.
Other actions in the area netted officers 139 pounds of processed cannabis worth between $278,000 to $417,000.
The region is designated by the U.S. Department of Justice as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, according to Sheriff Jon Lopey. County officials have banned all outdoor cultivation and medical cannabis patients can grow up to 12 plants and non-medical users up to six inside an approved structure, he said.
Officials throughout California have taken different approaches to curbing the illegal market since voters passed the legalization law in 2016. In April, Los Angeles filed its first civil lawsuit against an unlicensed dispensary and is seeking $20,000 per day the shop operated without a license – in all, about $7.5 million. The Bureau of Cannabis Control has also cracked down on illegal operators with fines and arrests.
In February, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an order to redeploy 360 of the state’s National Guard Troops to combat the state’s illegal cannabis trade.
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