Connect with us


California’s Cannabis Task Force Launches Its War on Black Market

Multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional task force uses an array of statutory authorities to combat illegal cannabis.




On October 4. California Governor Gavin Newsom’s newly formed Unified Enforcement Task Force oversaw a raid an unlicensed grow in a rural area of Jupiter, CA. PHOTO CA.GOV

On May 13, Governor Gavin Newsom announced eliminating cannabis cultivation taxes in California. Part of the plan included an annual $670 million set aside for cannabis education, treatment and law enforcement programs to tackle the Golden State’s cannabis black market.

Newsom’s newly formed Unified Enforcement Task Force (UCETF), has already launched into aggressive action. On Oct. 4, led by the Department of Cannabis Control’s Law Enforcement Division and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the task force coordinated a raid on an unlicensed grow in a rural area of Jupiter, CA.

Nine search warrants were served during the multi-agency operation. The task force announced eradicating 11,260 illegal cannabis plants and destroying 5,237 lbs. of illegal, processed cannabis flower — worth an estimated $15 million.

“California is taking immediate and aggressive action to stop illegal cannabis and strengthen the burgeoning legal market throughout the state,” says Gov. Newsom. “By shutting down illegal grow sites and applying serious consequences to offenders, we are working to curtail the criminal organizations that are undercutting the regulated cannabis market in California.”

California sees quashing the black market as key to the success of regulated cannabis. According to Statista, sales in black market cannabis reached approximately $8.7 billion in the state in 2019. The legal cannabis market took in only $3.1 billion that same year.

In June, Gov. Newsom directed the creation of the new multi-agency, cross-jurisdictional task force to better coordinate agencies, using an array of statutory authorities to strategically address illegal cannabis operations, including transnational criminal organizations.


“These operations and the criminal and financial penalties that will ultimately result from them reflect the importance and strength in a whole-of-government approach to combat criminally led enterprises, unfair competition and consumer and environmental threats,” said Nicole Elliott, DCC Director.



Cannaconvo with Peter Su of Green Check Verified

Cannabis Last Week with Jon Purow interviews Peter Su of Green Check Verified. Peter Su is a Senior Vice President with Green Check Verified, the top cannabis banking compliance software/consultancy in the space. A 20+ year veteran of the banking industry, Peter serves on the Banking & Financial Services committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association. He chairs the Banking and Financial Services Committee for the NYCCIA & HVCIA. He is an official member of the Rolling Stone Cannabis Culture Council. And, he is on the board of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable, serving as treasurer.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular