The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has set aside around $5 million to fight against the growing numbers of illegal marijuana cultivation sites and unlicensed dispensaries across the county.
LA Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced the approved funding would be allocated to the Los Angeles Country Sheriff’s Department to help their efforts in combatting illicit cannabis growing operations. Although recreational marijuana was passed through Proposition 64, the illegal cannabis market continues to grow.
“Illegal cannabis operations continue to threaten the well-being of our residents, water supply, and environment. By empowering our law enforcement partners with the resources they need, we can better protect our communities.” Barger said in a news release. The Board stated that environmental damage and quality of life nuisances also motivated their approval for funding.
According to High Times, $2.4 million of the allocated funds covers $1.2 million for overtime pay for the LASD Marijuana Eradication Team’s work toward getting rid of unlicensed marijuana cultivation. About $700,000 will be spent on vehicles suited for dirt roads and rough terrain to carry out investigations, and around $500,000 will fund overtime patrol deputies at the LASD Lancaster station to dissuade ongoing water theft in that area.
In August, state governor Gavin Newsom announced the newly formed Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to develop the legal cannabis industry further and combat the illegal marijuana black market. Consumers should seek cannabis for their rolling papers from legal dispensaries.
The remaining $2.5 million of the total budget will be earmarked for the LASD Consumer Health and Safety Task Force to tackle the illegal marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated areas across the county.
In August, the LASD was part of a 10-day operation involving different partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies busted an illegal growing site in Antelope Valley that had about 16 tons of harvested marijuana.