California Seizes $53 Million in Illegal Cannabis Products in 3 Months

California Seizes $53 Million in Illegal Cannabis Products in 3 Months

The state's crackdown on illegal marijuana is intended to help the legal market. Above, customers shop for marijuana products at a store in Santa Ana, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

4/17/2024

Updated: 4/17/2024

California law enforcement agencies seized an estimated $53.62 million in cannabis products and destroyed around 54,000 illegal plants in the first quarter of 2024, according to a recent press release by the governor’s office.
“California is home to the largest legal cannabis market in the world. As we continue to cultivate a legal marketplace, we’re taking aggressive action to crack down on those still operating in the shadows,” Gov. Gavin Newsom stated in the April 11 press release.
The operation was led by Mr. Newsom’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce, a collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies, which seized about 32,000 pounds of the illegal products between January and March.
Sting operations were conducted in the counties of Fresno, Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Riverside, and San Joaquin, according to the press release.
Since its inception in 2022, the task force has seized more than $370 million in unlicensed cannabis through 236 search warrants, destroyed 401,458 plants and seized 139 firearms. Such efforts help the regulated cannabis market in California by reducing the revenue of illegal growers and transnational criminal gangs involved in the illegal market, according to officials.
State agencies involved include the Department of Cannabis Control, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Employment Development Department, California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Parks, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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