The LA County Board of Supervisors recently announced that they would increase enforcement and possibly vote to allow marijuana growing in the county.
How LA County Copes with Illegal Marijuana Grow-ops?
The move comes after months of complaints and police action in the areas surrounding the county where illegal grow operations have thrived.
Residents in the area have complained of water theft, environmental damage, and armed growers patrolling their illicit farms.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department has spent millions cracking down on illegal grow-ops, but other operations soon emerge, and growers face only misdemeanor charges.
California residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana when they approved the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016. The bill decriminalized marijuana possession and cultivation for individuals over the age of 21.
However, the bill left it up to cities and towns to vote whether they would allow for the commercial growth and cultivation of marijuana.
Many counties and cities approved commercial marijuana grows in their jurisdictions. LA County did not.
The county Board of Supervisors said in 2017 that they would study the issue, and were waiting for assessments from local experts.
Despite receiving the promised report, the Supervisors took no action, and the commercial growth of marijuana in LA County has remained illegal. In place of regulations, taxation, and government oversight, an illegal market has arisen to fill the demand for marijuana statewide and beyond.
Published: September 14, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News