$10 Million Nursery Operation Busted in California

(IntegrityTimes.com) – Two law enforcement agencies in Northern California recently collaborated to bust an illegal marijuana cloning operation at a nursery, which was worth almost $10 million.

At roughly 8:30 A.M. on June 3, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office and the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office entered the Railroad Flat property in the 1400 block of West Forty Road with a search warrant. Deputies stated that an extensive and complex illegal operation was discovered that involved producing young plants to distribute to other sites for cultivation.

California legalized the production of marijuana in 2016, but this has not prevented an illicit black market from thriving due to strict curbs on the legal industry. The remote region of Siskiyou county, which voted against allowing farming despite statewide legalization, has seen considerable environmental damage due to illegal cannabis farming. Several producers are Hmong Americans on farms that lack access to running water. The intensive energy use and reliance on pesticides place a considerable strain on the surrounding ecosystem.

Earlier in 2024 California resident Bryn Spejcher was spared jail time after she stabbed her boyfriend Chad O’Melia 108 times in a marijuana-induced psychotic episode. She also injured her dog and herself in the incident. O’Melia died but the dog survived its injuries. Spejcher revealed that she was pressured into using the drug by her boyfriend, who she claimed was physically abusive towards her and choked her during sex. The incident nonetheless highlighted access to illicit marijuana with a high concentration of the psychoactive THC compound in a state where recreational cannabis is legal.

In March 2024 three marijuana-growing warehouses were raided by the LA County Sheriff’s Department. The sites were run by Chinese operators, and law enforcement agencies from Maine to California have reported that Chinese investors, suspected communist party officials and Asian criminal organizations are working together to take over the lucrative illegal marijuana industry in the US.

The Railroad Flat facility ran indoor and outdoor operations, and contained 34,467 plants worth an estimated $6,893,400-$10,340,100. Deputies also found guns and ammunition, and reported that the facility violated numerous codes relating to waste disposal, public health risks and unsafe electrical wiring. A 42-year-old suspect has been arrested on several charges in connection with the operation, which is under investigation.

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