State Takes Action to Combat Illegal Pot Growing and Transnational Cartels


Oct. 15 – SACRAMENTO – Taking aggressive action to protect communities, consumers and the environment, California Governor Gavin Newsom has spearheaded the creation of a new multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional agency task force. application designed to better coordinate the battle against illegal cannabis operations and transnational criminal organizations.

This new “Unified Cannabis Enforcement Task Force”, which has been actively working since the end of the summer, is co-chaired by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and is coordinated by the California Bureau of the Governor’s Emergency Services (Cal OES) through its Homeland Security Division.

The task force was tasked by Newsom to better align state efforts and increase enforcement coordination among state, local and federal partners.

“The State of California is committed to combating illicit commercial cannabis activities that cause significant harm to California communities, the environment, consumers and legal cannabis businesses,” said Nicole Elliott, Director of the DCC.

Since its inception, the task force has actively coordinated with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies to disrupt this illegal market, including: from the most rural areas of the state. — Establish a new data-sharing agreement that allows national and local law enforcement authorities to share information more widely and cross-reference data across jurisdictions. — Leverage and better align the authorities and statutory provisions of federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies in the conduct of search warrants, indictments, and maximizing arrests and prosecutions of perpetrators, while maximizing administrative, regulatory and civil penalties for bad actors. — Destabilizing human traffickers and illegal traffickers of firearms and drugs. — Prohibit illegal shipments of cannabis crossing California’s borders. — Coordinate with local police chiefs, sheriffs and federal officials to deploy personnel and equipment as needed.

By investigating, removing, and recovering illegal cultivation sites as well as shutting down illegal manufacturing, distribution, and retail operations, and apprehending and enforcing meaningful repercussions on violators and traffickers, enforcement agencies of state, local, and federal law protect consumer and public safety, safeguard the environment, and deprive illegal cannabis operators and transnational criminal organizations of illicit revenue that undermines California’s regulated cannabis market.

The large-scale illicit cultivation of cannabis outdoors can be harmful to the environment. Non-compliant cultivation sites can negatively affect wildlife, vegetation, water, soil, and other natural resources when they use chemicals, fertilizers, and terracing, and even poach local wildlife. Illegal cultivation of cannabis results in chemical contamination and alteration of watersheds, diversion of natural waterways, removal of native vegetation, risk of forest fires, wildlife poaching and harmful disposal of garbage, non-biodegradable materials and human waste.

Untested cannabis products also pose consumer safety risks, while all illegal activity undermines the regulated market and harms licensed cannabis business owners.

In addition to the three agencies participating as working group partners, several other state agencies in the areas of health, housing, business and consumer, environment, safety and more are included. .

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