Saturday, September 23, 2023

California’s Enforcement Taskforce Seizes $53M of Unlicensed Cannabis in First Quarter of 2023

The following is a press release issued by the California Department of Cannabis Control:

A pile of eradicated cannabis [All pictures from the Department of Cannabis Control’s Twitter page]

Building upon the $32 million seized by the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) during the first quarter of their operation, the taskforce announced today that it seized over $52 million in unlicensed cannabis and cannabis products in Q1 2023.

Additional highlights from the period January 1, 2023, through March 30, 2023, include a 43 percent gain in the number of plants eradicated. By targeting larger cultivation operations, UCETF was able to improve its quarter-over-quarter results despite serving 30 percent fewer search warrants. The complete details of UCETF’s 2022 and Q1 2023 results are listed below.

UCETF is supporting the legal cannabis market by investigating and thwarting illegal grow sites as well as shutting down illegal manufacturing, distribution, and retail operations. By working closely with state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, UCETF’s enforcement actions protect consumer and public safety, safeguard the environment, and deprive illegal cannabis operators and transnational criminal organizations of illicit revenue that undercuts the regulated cannabis market in California. 

“As the DCC Law Enforcement Division focuses on illegal indoor cultivations, unlicensed dispensaries, and unlicensed manufacturing and distribution operations, the multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional approach of UCETF allows us to leverage the expertise of each participating department to disrupt a broader scope of illegal businesses,” stated Bill Jones, Chief of the Law Enforcement Division for DCC. “Significantly improving our results speaks to our effectiveness and will help support the legal cannabis market.”

Police investigating a cannabis dispensary
UCETF OperationsQ4 2022Q1 2023Percentage Change
Search Warrants Served3021-30%
Pounds of Cannabis Seized19,401.7331,91239%
Retail Value of Cannabis Products Seized$32,012,854.50$52,644,020.5039%
Cannabis Plants Eradicated29,68752,52943%
Firearms Seized94-44%
Money Seized$12,602$95,64687%

“This multiagency task force has hit the ground running, allowing partners with the opportunity to contribute to their area of expertise. UCETF has quickly made an impact on the illegal cannabis supply chain, which in turn is helping the regulated market succeed,” said David Bess, Chief of Enforcement for California Department of Fish & Wildlife. “The gains and successes made by the task force speak directly to the efficiency and dedication of this multiagency collaboration and we expect to see this type of continued success throughout the year as UCEFT moves into outdoor cultivation enforcement season.”

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“The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is committed to enforcing laws that hold illegal operators accountable for unpaid taxes,” said California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Director Nick Maduros. “CDTFA’s tax expertise helps our law enforcement partners take aggressive action to combat illegal activities and deter tax evaders.”

An indoor grow site

To date UCETF has seized $84,652,875 in unlicensed cannabis through the serving of 51 search warrants. The taskforce has also eradicated 82,216 plants and seized 13 firearms.

Created in 2022, the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce has been charged by the Governor to better align state efforts and increase cannabis enforcement coordination between state, local and federal partners. The taskforce is co-chaired by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and coordinated by the Homeland Security Division of Cal OES. The taskforce includes more than two dozen local, state, and federal partners working together to disrupt the illegal cannabis market.

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  1. You need to give the Farm’s back to the old mom and pop farmers who used to be able to survive on their crops and give to the communities and pay their taxes you took it away from the moment pops farmers and gave it to the corporations not what else do we have left to do we can’t afford your licenses fees we can’t afford paying taxes without having something to to be able to grow and with the taxes and the fees that you charge only large corporations can afford to pay for that so where is the Fault really you say they grow illegally you say they don’t pay taxes or stop and think about I’m talking about the mom and pop I’m not talking about the illegal Mexican cartel or the big conglomerate cigarette companies that can afford those thousands and thousands of dollars of permit cost and taxes should have never took it away from the mom and pop it’s what actually started and help the communities grow it’s a shame but I pray hopefully one day instead of you going after all this spending all this money on task force starts spending the money on helping people to be able to understand what’s going on why why did you take it away from the American citizens the old mom and pop farmers God bless you what you’re doing anyway and I pray for every one of you not to get hurt I’m just one old woman hopefully I will make some kind of positive input after I get out of school when becoming a drug counselor hopefully one day I will be helping people get off the drugs like myself I’ve been cleaning sober up with meth and heroin or 27 years I don’t do nothing except for read articles and studying my classes before I go to school thank you for the information that you put on this platform you have a blessed and beautiful day

  2. Are you kidding me after all the illegals sneaking into our country, after all the fentnal deaths ,all the sex trafficking of children,and all the corruption of the government and a tanking economy this is what they pat themselves on the back for a 2nd time and that’s no 53 million in cannabis they are the problem not the people doing what they can to survive against a government gone tyrannical and the Jewish owner reporters do what they are told the Lord Jesus Christ is our master not this evil corrupt government

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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