The legalization of recreational cannabis in the state of California has reportedly neither led to a downturn in illegal business nor has it relieved stress on law enforcement.
As it turns out, illegal cannabis growers have only thrived since California legalized the recreational use of the drug in 2016, stealing business from legal sellers at half the price due to the lack of regulation or taxation.
“The illegal industry is competing with the legal industry and essentially putting them out of business,” Sgt. James Roy of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department told Fox News.
Roy, who heads the department’s cannabis eradication team, had recently raided an illegal farm in Riverside County that had four massive white tents, colloquially known as “hoop houses,” containing $1.5 million in illegal cannabis.
“This place is no different than thousands of others we hit this year confiscating about a half-million plants in Riverside County alone,” Roy told the outlet.
“It’s definitely profitable for the illegal market,” Roy later said. “They’re selling greenhouse marijuana by the pound of anywhere from $500 to $2,000 here on the West Coast. But if they take that same exact product and ship that back east, it’s going for two and three times that amount.”