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Home / News / Crime / State seizes $53 million in illegal cannabis products in 3 months

State seizes $53 million in illegal cannabis products in 3 months

by Staff
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A California task force policing the cannabis industry confiscated $53.62 million in illegal cannabis plants and products during first quarter of 2024, the governor’s office announced Thursday.

The Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce seized 54,137 unlicensed cannabis plants and 31,866 pounds of unlicensed cannabis products following operations in Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, Alameda, Fresno, Kern and San Joaquin counties, officials said. Authorities also seized 11 firearms.

“California is home to the largest legal cannabis market in the world,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “As we continue to cultivate a legal marketplace, we’re taking aggressive action to crack down on those still operating in the shadows — shutting down illegal operations linked to organized crime, human trafficking, and the proliferation of illegal products that harm the environment and public health.”

Since its 2022 inception, the UCETF has seized nearly $371.2 million in unlicensed cannabis after serving 236 search warrants, according to the governor’s office. Authorities, who include federal and local law enforcement officers, also eradicated 401,458 plants and seized 139 firearms.

Newsom created the UCETF in an attempt to streamline enforcement efforts and improve coordination between state, local and federal agencies, officials said. These crackdowns aim to safeguard public safety and the environment while depriving “illegal cannabis operators and transnational criminal organizations of illicit revenue that harms consumers and undercuts the regulated cannabis market in California.”

The state agencies and departments that participated in UCETF operations during the first quarter of 2024 include the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Department of Cannabis Control, Employment Development Department, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, State Parks and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

More information on California’s legal marijuana market, state licenses and laws is at www.cannabis.ca.gov

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