1.1 Million Plants Destroyed in Illicit Marijuana Campaign
In spite of the recent difficulties caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the spreading of local wildfires, the state of California conducted its yearly anti-marijuana campaign.
During the 13-week long action, federal and local agencies visited a total of 455 grow sites in 29 California counties. The result — 1.1 million illicit marijuana plants destroyed.
Since California officials established a regulated cannabis industry two years ago, illegal operators have been a constant thorn in their side. Namely, due to the competition brought on by these illegal operators, legal marijuana businesses have become less profitable and not as successful as previously anticipated.
As state Attorney General Xavier Beccera told the press, federal and local law enforcement arrested 140 people and confiscated 174 weapons during the operation — dubbed “The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting.”
In addition, the biggest “haul” this year happened in Riverside County, of all places. This county, which is just east of Los Angeles, had a total of 293,000 illicit plants destroyed by the authorities. This came as a huge surprise for everyone involved, seeing how since 1983 (when the first campaign took place) the biggest operations were always found in the northern part of the state.
“Based on past experiences, I think most people would have guessed that the counties with the largest grow sites would have been in the northern part of the state. But, as it turns out, Riverside took the crown by a long shot,” said Becerra.
Nevertheless, the remaining top five sites were all indeed found in Northern California. Tulare county took second place with 105,000 plants and Trinity, Lake, and Siskiyou counties closely followed suit.