Another raid of illegal cannabis grows in California resulted in over 30,000 cannabis plants and 2,720 pounds of cannabis being seized.
The raid took place in Oakland, and according to the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), firearms were also seized, and the estimated total of cannabis seized was $33.9 million. It took place on January 26 and 27 and took place across the city at separate warehouses that were used as grows and to house the cannabis and firearms. Lt. Miguel Félix Ibarra with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office reported that he worked with the DCC to get search warrants for the sites.
“This search warrant operation was part of a large-scale marijuana cultivation and tax evasion investigation,” Ibarra told San Francisco Gate in an email regarding the busts and the product that was seized. “Two large warehouses located on these properties had been converted into sophisticated marijuana cultivation facilities.”
So far, details are still shaky when it comes to who was behind the illegal grow and how many individuals were connected with it. Law enforcement agents have yet to reveal if any charges were filed, and if so, whom they were filed against. The DCC did tell the press that they seized a handgun and an “AR-style rifle” along with the cannabis fro the home of one of the suspects. The two raids took place in West Oakland, at 1685 34th St., and in East Oakland, at 1217 48th Ave.
Illegal Cannabis Raids Common in Oakland
Raids like this are fairly common in the East Bay area, despite the fact that cannabis has been legal in California since 2016. The state has had its share of brushes with a gray market, as many resist the strict regulations that come with a legal cannabis industry.
SF Gate also reported that on January 10, $3 million in cannabis was seized at Livermore warehouse. In 2021, the largest illegal raid in the history of the area took place when $42 million in plants and dollars was seized in San Leandro.
This particular raid falls somewhere in the middle. While it isn’t on level with the high-grossing raid of 2021, authorities estimate the value of the cannabis plants seized at close to $27.9 million. The flower alone was valued at close to $5.9 million. The DCC broke that value down roughly to $832 per plant and $1,650 per pound. This is a bit above the current market rate, as the cannabis was likely being sold at gray and black market prices.
In more rural parts of California, these raids can lead to even bigger busts. A cannabis raid in 2020 surpassed the $100 million dollar mark when it came to the total of cannabis seized.
“An investigation which began in Solano County in November 2020 led resident deputies and Sheriff’s detectives to rural Siskiyou County and to the city of Elk Grove, SCSO posted on Facebook at the time.
“Working with the Elk Grove Police Department and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, Solano County resident deputies and detectives served two search warrants in Elk Grove, North Highlands, and three search warrants in Siskiyou County. The totality of the investigation resulted in the seizure of 14 weapons, the seizure/destruction of 79,000 illegal marijuana plants (with a street value of $120 million), 179 pounds of processed marijuana and $312,000 was seized as illicit money. The suspect in the case was arrested in Elk Grove on an arrest warrant.”
As the market continues to fluctuate, and cannabis rules and regulations shift and change, there are bound to be some folks who stick to the gray market with their products, and some of those folks are bound to get busted.