20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized title=
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized
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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

On June 17th, 2019, detectives from the Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team executed four search warrants related to an illegal cannabis cultivation site outside the City of Buellton. These warrants were the culmination of an approximate two-month investigation involving fraudulently obtained State temporary and provisional cannabis licenses and the suspected sales of undocumented cannabis. The search warrants took place in the City of Santa Maria, in San Luis Obispo County and in the 1800 block of West Highway 246, just outside Buellton City limits. The operation involved 35 detectives, investigators and Wildlife Officers from various agencies. These agencies included the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team, Special Investigations Bureau, Criminal Investigations Bureau, Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Army National Guard Counter Drug Task Force.

The cultivation area itself was located on a property of approximately 187 acres of agricultural land, with just over 60 acres of it being used for the commercial cultivation of cannabis. From the initial investigation, it appeared the site was used to continually cultivate cannabis throughout the year and at the time of the search, approximately 40 acres was presently growing, with a large amount having been recently harvested. It took a total of four days for the team to seize approximately 20 tons of processed cannabis and eradicate approximately 350,000 cannabis plants, several of which were nearly ready to harvest.

This investigation was the result of complaints from the public, tips  and  information provided to the Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team. At the time of this press release, the owner of the property had not been located or contacted, and the case will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for review of criminal charges.

The case is still being actively investigated and no further information will be provided at this time.

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PitMix Jun 24, 2019 01:26 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

The Indy and LA Times articles do a good job of outlining the ridiculous County rules that led to this situation. People could get a temporary license by self-verifying that they had grown pot even if they hadn't. People can apply for multiple licenses. Taxes are based on reported product and not on acreage under cultivation. We have 1/3 of the licensed land in the state. Hopefully the politicos that stood to benefit from this situation will move on to other offices before the local blowback kicks them out of their current positions. Then we can get someone in to fix it.

Factotum Jun 24, 2019 01:11 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Pot is an industrial crop grown under high-tech conditions. These are industrial pot manufacturers; they are not farmers.It is not a food crop. Is someone worried the "gangs" are still cutting into the legal pot industrial complex?

midair Jun 24, 2019 12:54 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

They should follow the same rules as the broccoli and lettuce growers. No permit required. No air scrubbers for broccoli, which smells as well. How about spending all this money on gang enforcement instead?

a-1571532027 Jun 24, 2019 01:18 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Ha ha yeah I think the “cannabis” PR machine is learning that the “we are just like broccoli” spin doesn’t do so well here, esp among people with a shred of intelligence or knowledge of local land use. Give it up.

Crystalandmaui Jun 24, 2019 09:52 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Huh, so who has the monopoly on this? Pretty obvious now. Wow, and what are they doing with all this sieged pot???? Ya selling it themselves. I don’t smoke weed, the thing I do have A problem with, is it being grown in our local cities, that’s ridiculous, why?????? Should of never been allowed, move it out, to where it can not be seen or smelled. I smell it every time I go to Carpinteria, and so do the kids, that’s so wrong, parents are trying to keep their kids in school and get an education, it’s hard enough with both parents working, to only have this a consent in children’s minds every day. Shame on them , who would think growing it near schools was alright? Just like you can’t have bar near a school, move it out to Santa Ynez or somewhere not encroaching on people’s lives. So selfish. But let’s complain about some homeless people, I don’t think the kids look at them and say that’s what I’ll do when I get out of school. Nope, but now they maybe saying, hey I’ll be a pot dealer. GET IT OUT.

a-1571532027 Jun 24, 2019 08:09 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

I agree with many here that if you follow the rules & do the right thing you don't end up losing a bundle. How easy can it get? Sure the permits cost $, but it'll cost MUCH more when you get busted & lose the whole ranch. Easy come = easy go. Shortcuts rarely work. Stupid!

drellim Jun 23, 2019 08:05 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

If they had a state license and compliant for a yr, the county may be in trouble. don't know the facts there 900 lb indoor 3/400 greenhouse so 20,000,000,00 in flower not but half that is wet or drying plant FYI hard to believe a grow that large was that blatant and not complying

a-1571532027 Jun 23, 2019 06:21 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

So before Das and Dennis and the rest of the County Cartel spokesmen start tooting their horn about the bust of the “bad actors”- know this—- this grow was known to the county for over a year, had been reported repeatedly, had received state licenses recently AUTHORIZED by the county.......so, don’t fall for their “getting rid of the black market” BS. The County CREATED a NEW black market with grows like this one that DID NOT EXIST until the County adopted the most permissive ordinance in the State signaling to people far and wide that NO PROOF of prior nonconforming would be required.

shorebird Jun 23, 2019 02:19 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Sounds just like when law enforcement broke up illegal stills with hatchets and poured out the booze. How do you dispose of 200+++ tons of pot? How do they dispose of it? Burning it would be air pollution. Can you make mulch out of it by mixing with other vegetation? Would the mulch be stinky? Inquiring minds want to know....

SBWalkers Jun 23, 2019 10:19 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

When will our society grow up? Prohibition serves only the ignorant and rich. Makes criminals for little reason. Research why pot was made illegal in the first place. Making it a schedule 1, same as heroin!. 0 recorded deaths (arguably) with MJ and 15,000 per year from heroin. Jeezers man, how about some logical and intelligent reasons for making so many people criminals. Our MJ laws make criminals of over 50% of our population.

a-1571532027 Jun 23, 2019 11:39 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

This operator was issued 200 state licenses and was in competition with Das’ buddies in Carp. This bust makes him look good all the way around.... Peoole think he’s actually doing something and his buddies get rid of a competitor. Win Win for Das

SantaBarbaraObserver Jun 23, 2019 09:16 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

"The operation involved 35 detectives, investigators and Wildlife Officers from various agencies." Wow, 35 people for what is essentially a permit violation. If LE spent as much time and resources on other permit violations, our community would be cleared of scofflaws and most criminals enterprises. Like businesses that employ the undocumented, ignore permit and licensing requirements, run on cash and cheat the government (and you) out of their rightful share.

Factotum Jun 23, 2019 08:02 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Don't forget the string of former county supervisors who ran up the county's bills so high they need to now sell out to the highest bidder just to meet the county pension obligations alone. Their defense is pot taxes will help us avoid taxing you, to pay off our county pensions. We should be happy with this new pot income stream. They got us into one heck of a mess. But they all did get voted into office and revoted into office and replaced by more of the same, decades after decade.

Rinconer Jun 26, 2019 07:54 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Thank you for the comment. $2500 x 2000 lbs. x 20 = $100 million dollars. Who gets the $100 million dollars? Not taxpayers who paid for this operation. Show me a video of 20 tons of weed being “eradicated” ( vague word) or show me the $100 million. Until then S.B. is a place where crooks are free to steal $100 million with no punishment.

Z Jun 24, 2019 10:26 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Check the math? Can you imagine selling a ton of pot surreptitiously, an eighth of an ounce per sale? Get real. This is agriculture with jack-booted tax collectors. Most fools with $10k of inputs can grow $5,000 worth of pot. It takes a very accomplished and careful farmer to turn a profit on any quantity of legal weed. 20 tons is overreaching.

Z Jun 23, 2019 02:03 PM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Thousand dollars a pound? You're thinking like a dope detective. Try a hundred a pound for much smaller quantities (say 100#). Manicuring can cost more than the weed when dealing with tons, but the risk with quantity is extreme. Price has done collapsed, lots of real estate loans going to pot. Some crafty operators will cover their down payments before they walk away.

a-1571532027 Jun 23, 2019 07:40 AM
20 Tons of Illegal Cannabis & 350, 000 Cannabis Plants Seized

Before all the pro-pot people (users?) start bellyaching about what a waste of good product this is, I’ll say that I am all for raids like this. These growers should follow the rules, pay their taxes and fees, etc, regardless of what they grow.

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