Authorities say THC content in plants was too high compared to California law
The sheriff's services in Southern California raided what the owners had previously described as a hemp field. It was actually 10 million cannabis plants valued at more than $ 1 billion on the black market. On October 25, the police are conducting a search in non-psychoactive hemp fields, according to the growers. In fact, they produced cannabis plants whose THC content exceeded the 0,3% authorized by California law.
The investigation was initiated following an information communicated to the Kern County Sheriff's Office about 11 fields spanning over 459 acres in the small town of Arvin. The operation was conducted in collaboration with the FBI and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which culminated in the search warrants of the October 25.
"Preliminary tests have shown that THC levels in these fields far exceeded the legal limit for industrial hemp production and that it was actually cannabis," the Kern County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. message on Facebook. "The investigation is ongoing."
California law allows a THC content greater than 0,3% if hemp is grown for research purposes.
The announcement did not specify how farmers started growing unlicensed cannabis. But if they were confused about the THC content of their own product, they would not be the first in the country to use that excuse. In February, Idaho state police confiscated 6 701 marijuana pounds from a Colorado company truck at a weighing station. The company owning the plant, Big Sky Scientific, said it had tested the culture through 19 different samples that concluded that the THC level of cannabis was 0,043%.
Hemp cultivation and confusion about THC levels
Cannabis growers are not the only ones to get tangled up about the THC content of their products. Law enforcement agencies in Florida and Texas have concluded that their agencies do not have the screening technology necessary to distinguish between hemp and weed, resulting in depriorization of arrests for possession at Small scale.
Earlier this year, in Fresno County, hemp thievery was reported by thieves who thought they were seizing cannabis!
The comments made on the sheriff's sheriff's office page when Arvin's arrest was announced wondered whether the producers themselves knew the THC content of their own crop.
But enforcement of hemp production laws can also be seen as an attempt by law enforcement agencies to protect cannabis growers who work within legal guidelines. Much attention has been paid to the difficulties Californian legal producers face when it comes to competing with the still-strong illegal market in California. A report released in September concluded that illegal vendors continue to outnumber state-licensed retailers by three to one.