California officials are continuing their crackdown on illegal cannabis cultivators as the Sonoma County Permit and Resource Management Department shut down a 63,241-plant grow – the county’s largest ever, according to a CBS Local (San Francisco) report. The illegal cultivation sites were located in a habitat for endangered California tiger salamanders.
About 26,650 plants were found on a 2.5-acre site, while another 36,385 plants were being grown on a 3.3-acre site and some were interspersed with corn.
Permit and Resource Management Department spokeswoman Maggie Fleming said that the largest previous cannabis cultivation site shut down by the county was 13,000 plants. In all, county officials have abated 161,000 this year.
In June, Siskiyou County officials said they had seized more than 19,000 illegally-grown cannabis plants in one month.
Since the launch of legal sales in California through July, the Bureau of Cannabis Control and law enforcement agencies reported they had confiscated about $30 million in illegal cannabis from grows and unlicensed shops.
Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, told the Los Angeles Times in July that the number of enforcement actions by the Bureau is “severely inadequate,” noting that there should be hundreds of enforcement actions on illegally operating shops. She said the state “has always struggled with enforcement of the illicit industry.”
In July, the California Finance Department found that just 15 of 68 BCC enforcement positions had been filled and the agency was experiencing a major cash shortage which prevented it from providing adequate enforcement.
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