Connect with us

California Cannabis Updates

Three Detained in Illegal Marijuana Grow in San Diego County with 600 Marijuana Plants, Psylocibin Mushrooms, and Hashish Seized



February 25, 2023 – San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officials report that on Wednesday, February 22 around 3:00 p.m., members of the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Detail (SED/SWAT) served a narcotics-related search warrant in the 10000 block of Via Patricio in Valley Center.

The warrant was part of an investigation by the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET). Three adults were detained during warrant service.

As a result of warrant service, the following seizures were made:

  • 600 live marijuana plants
  • Approximately 2 pounds of processed marijuana
  • Approximately 9 pounds of concentrated cannabis
  • Approximately 15 grams of psylocibin mushrooms
  • Approximately one-half pound of hashish

The estimated street value of the seizure is about $675,000. A large-scale water-based THC extraction operation was discovered at the property.  A criminal complaint will be filed with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. Assisting specialized investigators are conducting independent, parallel investigations within their fields of expertise.

Illegal marijuana cultivation has many negative impacts on the surrounding community and environment. To provide the most effective service to the surrounding community, MET requested assistance from specialized investigators including California Fish and Wildlife’s Cannabis Enforcement Program, San Diego County Code Compliance, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration and California State Water Resources Control Board’s Agriculture and Cannabis Section. Each specialized investigator plays a key role in ensuring illegal marijuana cultivation doesn’t negatively impact our communities.

San Diego County Code Compliance assists by ensuring any physical safety hazards present on the property are mitigated. All too often, structures used for illegal marijuana cultivation operations are haphazardly constructed, ignoring industry safety standards and posing significant hazards to anyone working in the facilities. In this instance, Code Compliance Officers noted numerous hazards, both structurally and electrically, resulting in San Diego Gas and Electric being requested to cut power to all structures on the property until the entirety of the property is permitted and can pass building inspection.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) is committed to enforcing cannabis laws to hold individuals and businesses accountable for taxes owed to the state. In cooperation with law enforcement partners, CDTFA is combating underground economic activities associated with illegal cannabis businesses. This effort removes illicit cannabis products that pose health and safety risks, deters others from similar crimes and recovers revenue to fund vital public programs.

The State Water Resources Control Board and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards, collectively known as the Water Boards, are one of the state agencies that regulate the commercial cultivation of cannabis. The role of the Water Boards and purpose of the Cannabis Cultivation Policy and General Order is to minimize and mitigate the negative effects to water quality from cannabis cultivation activities, including the diversion of water and discharge of wastes that could impact waters of the State of California. Unpermitted cultivations and the land development associated with the cultivation, without engineered controls and containment, may discharge wastes, such as excess fertilizers, pesticides, sediment, and litter that adversely impact our streams, rivers, wetlands, lakes, and groundwater aquifers.

The warrant follows community concerns about illegal marijuana operations near schools and residential areas. We want to assure those we serve know the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is listening to the community and recognizes the negative impact illegal marijuana grows have on our neighborhoods.


Source link

Continue Reading

California Cannabis Updates

CBS News Report: Cannabis-legal California battling surging illegal marijuana operations




DISCOVERY BAY – In a state where cannabis is widely legalized, California still has a significant illegal marijuana scene. The state Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is only two years old but is quickly tackling and dismantling these operations.

For Bill Jones of the DCC, it was just another Tuesday as he pulled up to an unsuspecting house in a gated neighborhood. To the untrained eye, one would never guess what was hiding inside.

“It really could be anywhere,” Jones told CBS News Bay Area. “It could be your neighborhood, could be my neighborhood.

CBS News Bay Area was invited on a ride along while DCC officers executed search warrants and seized illegal crops.

Inside four homes in a Discovery Bay neighborhood, officers found illegal cannabis operations.

“We’re going to see anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 plants,” Jones said. “And we’re talking about a square mile here.”

Jones has been in law enforcement for nearly three decades and the DCC holds a personal significance as he was part of the team tasked with standing the department up in 2021.

“I hired all these officers,” Jones said. “I’m so proud of my people. They work so hard.”

Upon entry into the house, the smell of cannabis fills the space and each room has its own microclimate as those who tended to the crop closely monitored the environment of the plants. But in doing so, the practice created an illegal and hazardous space.

“There’s a really sharp contrast between the illegal cannabis market and the licensed cannabis market,” Jones explained. “The illegal market which in part has criminal organizations like Mexican cartels and Chinese triads and other transnational criminal organizations operating it. They pay no taxes, they have no concerns about how they grow and distribute, they use banned chemicals and pesticides. They take advantage of their employees, sometimes they even engage in human trafficking.”

In the first two stops, officers seized nearly 2,000 plants totaling 1,000 pounds of cannabis.

Read full report

Source link

Continue Reading

California Cannabis Updates

Reminder: Deadline Approaching for Equity Applicants




Per Business and Professions Code 26050.2 (a) (3) (D), equity applicants have until March 31, 2023 to submit an application to the Department to be considered for a provisional license.

Due to Cesar Chavez Day, a state holiday, the Department will accept applications for provisional equity licenses until Monday, April 3, 2023.  Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m.

Here is a checklist to assist you with submitting a provisional license application:

  • Review current regulations for application requirements
  • Gather and submit all requirements in accordance with California Code of Regulations section 15002 and 15011
  • Follow the online instructions for how to apply
  • Reach out to your local jurisdiction for authorization
  • Provide CEQA documentation showing proof your environmental review is underway
  • For cultivation licenses, provide a final streambed alteration agreement or documentation from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that meets the requirements of section 15001.1(c)(2) of DCC’s regulations
  • Make sure you are not requesting a license that exceeds one acre of outdoor cultivation, 22,000 square feet of mixed-light or indoor cultivation, or licenses on contiguous premises that exceed these size limitations
  • If paying your application fee by cash, make an appointment to pay before the April 3, 2023 deadline by emailing

If you are a local equity business and have already submitted an application for a provisional license, be sure to check the application portal and your email inbox to ensure all application requirements have been completed.

To learn more about local equity applicant qualifications, please send an email to or visit our website at

Source link

Continue Reading

California Cannabis Updates

Media Report: California launches probe of cannabis licensing to ‘clean house’ of corruption




Corruption in California’s cannabis industry has become widespread and brazen.

There have been pay-to-play schemes, including a demand for cash in a brown paper bag for a pot license, threats of violence against local officials, and city council members accepting money from cannabis businesses even as they regulated them.

Those problems and more were uncovered by a sweeping Los Angeles Times investigation last year. Now state officials are launching an audit aimed at curtailing bribery, conflicts of interest and other misdeeds.

The inquiry, requested by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, and authorized Wednesday by the state Joint Legislative Audit Committee, comes more than six years after California voters approved Proposition 64, the ballot measure that legalized recreational cannabis and unleashed a wave of corruption that has afflicted local governments in rural Northern California enclaves and towns like Calexico near the Mexican border.

Other state lawmakers have proposed hearings and reforms following The Times’ “Legal Weed, Broken Promises” investigative series, which also highlighted the failures of public officials to root out the illegal cannabis market and protect the workers toiling and dying on farms.

State auditors plan to identify six jurisdictions with licensed cannabis businesses and review criteria used to approve the permits, reviewing local governments that have been rocked by corruption allegations and others that appear to have fewer such problems.

They’ll be looking for patterns in the licensing rules that indicate whether certain practices are “more susceptible to fraud and abuse,” State Auditor Grant Parks told lawmakers Wednesday. They’ll also be reviewing a “fairly good sample” of cannabis permits to check whether local authorities followed rules they had set, he said.

The findings could form the basis for legislation and new regulations governing licensing, Parks said.

In an interview, Jones-Sawyer hailed the action as a step toward reform.

“If we don’t clean house, nobody else will. I think this will prove to the public that we take corruption very seriously,” said Jones-Sawyer, who declared himself the state’s “cannabis cop” after publication of the Times investigations.

Proposition 64 left ultimate business licensing in the hands of cities and counties. Part-time, often low-paid local elected officials became gatekeepers over decisions worth potentially millions of dollars to business owners in the hyper-competitive cannabis market.

The state’s dual state and local licensing system is widely blamed for creating a fertile ground for corruption. The Times investigation uncovered a possible six-figure bribe demand by the former mayor in Baldwin Park — later corroborated by a federal plea agreement — and other potential conflicts of interest around the state.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Amy Jenkins, representing the California Cannabis Industry Assn., blamed local regulations for the corruption problem, arguing that measures such as license caps allowed municipal leaders to pick winners and losers in the market and open up opportunities for payoffs.

Fewer than half of California’s cities and counties allow some type of cannabis business — retail, cultivation, manufacturing or other types of licenses — to operate within their borders. The audit, Jenkins said, could lead to more “liberal” local regulations that reduce opportunities for payoffs and allow more cannabis businesses to open.

“Legal cannabis has failed and will continue to fail until we are able to fully integrate cannabis into our economy,” she said.

Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, agreed that there was an “undercurrent of misconduct” in cannabis licensing. He suggested that his own community be among those examined to determine which practices are least likely to lead to corruption.

“Fresno’s now the fifth-largest city in the state of California, it’s the capital city of a significant region of the state. For whatever it’s worth I think the Fresno region ought to be considered part of that,” Patterson said.

Previous attempts by Jones-Sawyer to investigate corruption in the weed industry had been stymied, with lobbyists for local communities arguing against such proposals, calling them politically motivated, he said.

But with the Times series on the failures of Proposition 64, a new committee chair and the latitude to pick which cities to target, Jones-Sawyer said he was finally was able to marshal enough support to get the audit approved.

No one at Wednesday’s hearing opposed the plan.

“Going from, I had to fight just to get it heard to where it’s now a unanimous decision, I think people now understand how important it is to ferret out corruption, even if it’s just one elected official,” he said.


Source link

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2021 The Art of MaryJane Media