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$33.9 million in illegal cannabis found in massive Oakland raids

Lester Black, SFGATE

Jan. 31, 2023

OG Article: here.

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The two-day raid took place on Jan. 26 and 27 and was conducted at two warehouses on separate sides of the city. Lt. Miguel Félix Ibarra, with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, said the agency coordinated with the DCC on the “high-risk search warrants” at both facilities.

“This search warrant operation was part of a large-scale marijuana cultivation and tax evasion investigation,” Ibarra told SFGATE in an email. “Two large warehouses located on these properties had been converted into sophisticated marijuana cultivation facilities.”

It’s not clear how many individuals were involved in the allegedly illegal cannabis-growing operation. Neither agency said if anyone was arrested or if charges were filed. The DCC said it also seized one handgun and one “AR style rifle” during a Thursday raid of a suspect’s residence. The two raids took place in West Oakland, at 1685 34th St., and in East Oakland, at 1217 48th Ave.

Illegal cannabis farms have remained in the East Bay even after the state legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016. On Jan. 10, authorities seized over $3 million in cannabis at a Livermore warehouse. And in 2021, authorities dismantled what they called the largest illegal cannabis-growing operation in Bay Area history, with $42 million worth of plants and millions of dollars in cash seized in San Leandro.

The DCC estimated that the marijuana plants seized last week were worth $27.9 million and the processed marijuana flower was worth $5.9 million. That estimate works out to roughly $823 per plant and $1,650 per pound of cannabis flower, which is significantly higher than the current market rate for legal cannabis in California. Furthermore, cannabis sold outside the state in illicit markets can be worth more than legal marijuana sold in California’s legal market.

The DCC did not explain how it estimated the totals.


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