Authorities Bust Unlicensed Cannabis Growers, Eradicate 3 Tons Of Marijuana

Authorities in Monterey County have eradicated more than three tons of illegal marijuana plants, following a recent bust of an illegal growing operation.

A joint operation involving the county District Attorney’s Office’s Bureau of Investigations, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Monterey County of Public Works, and other state and local agencies, resulted in arrests of unlicensed growers at an undisclosed location, where they seized more than 6,000 plants amounting to more than three tons of marijuana.

Those arrested claimed the marijuana was actually just hemp, a version of marijuana with less than .3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration and without the effects of marijuana.

However, tests performed on the plants at a Santa Cruz lab showed it to have a much higher concentration of THC, said Deputy District Attorney Gregory Peterson.

According to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office, “Given these similarities in product appearances, illegal cultivators often claim their marijuana is hemp to avoid complying with cannabis regulatory requirements. These unfair business practices are destabilizing the legal cannabis industry and flooding the market with marijuana products that have not been tested for consumer safety.”

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