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Authorities bust $36.9 million illegal marijuana warehouse in Oakland

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Law enforcement busted a massive illegal cannabis grow in Oakland last week, finding an estimated $36.9 million worth of cannabis in an unlicensed facility.

In total, an operation led by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife found 41,082 cannabis plants and 1,841 pounds of processed cannabis, according to Janice Mackey, a spokesperson for the agency.

“This is one of the largest cannabis enforcement actions (in terms of retail value) in the Bay Area this year,” Mackey wrote in an email to SFGATE.

The operation occurred on Sept. 28 at the 300 block of Adeline Street near Interstate 880. Officers also seized three firearms at the scene. No one was arrested, according to Mackey. She declined to provide a specific address where the operation took place.

Marijuana is legal in California, but business owners must obtain licenses and permits to grow the plant commercially. The Oakland facility did not have proper cannabis licenses, Mackey said.

The 300 Block of Adeline Street in Oakland, where authorities made one of the largest Bay Area cannabis busts of the year.

The illicit cannabis market continues to thrive in California seven years after voters legalized marijuana. Illegal cannabis sales in California were estimated to be worth over $8 billion last year, far more than the $5.4 billion in legal sales, as David Hafner of the Department of Cannabis Control told the San Francisco Standard. Large, illegal cannabis-growing facilities are routinely found in the Bay Area, especially in Oakland and the surrounding suburbs.

In April, authorities uncovered over $36 million worth of illegal pot at two locations in Oakland. Three months earlier, in January, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office found nearly $34 million worth of pot at two different Oakland warehouses.

The state has increased enforcement against illegal growing operations this year, seizing over $109 million worth of illegal cannabis in the second quarter of 2023, more than twice as much as was seized in the first quarter, according to the Department of Cannabis Control.


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