By LeeWEpstein

November 6, 2019

The Southern California Sheriff’s Department raided what the owners had previously described as a hemp field. In reality, it was 10 million cannabis plants more valuable than $1 billion on the black market. On October 25, law enforcement officials searched the non-psychoactive hemp fields, according to the farmers. They produced cannabis plants with a THC content exceeding the 0.3% allowed by California law.


The investigation started following information provided to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. About 11 fields covering more than 459 acres in the small town of Arvin. So,the operation conducted in collaboration with the FBI and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. which resulted in search warrants on October 25.

“Preliminary tests have shown that THC levels in these fields far exceed the legal limit for industrial hemp production and that it was cannabis,” the Kern County Sheriff’s Office announced in a Facebook message. “The investigation is ongoing.”

California law allows a THC content of more than 0.3% if hemp cultivation is for research purposes.

The announcement did not specify how farmers started growing cannabis without a license. But if they confused about the THC content of their product. They would not be the first in the country to use this excuse. Also,in February, Idaho State Police confiscated 6,701 pounds of marijuana from a Colorado company truck at a weighing station. Therefore,the company that owns the plant, Big Sky Scientific, reported that it tests the crop on 19 different samples that concluded that the THC content of cannabis was 0.043%.

Hemp cultivation and confusion  on THC levels

However,Cannabis producers are not the only ones who tangled up in the THC content of their products. For instance, Florida and Texas law enforcement agencies have concluded that their agencies do not have the screening technology to distinguish between hemp and weed. Resulting in prioritization of arrests for small-scale possession.

Much attention has been paid to the difficulties faced by legal Californian producers in competing with the still strong illegal market in California. A report published in September concluded that the number of illegal sellers continues to be three times higher than the number of state-approved retailers.

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