Why it matters: Law enforcement officers raided an unlicensed marijuana dispensary in Jurupa Valley, Riverside County, California, seizing more than $1m worth of illegal products including processed marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana concentrate, vapes, and edible marijuana items. The investigation is still ongoing.
What they are saying: The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) has been working closely with local, state, and federal partners to crack down on illegal cannabis operations that harm communities and the environment. In 2021 and 2022, search warrants increased from 62 in 2021 to 155 in 2022, with over 41,726 pounds of illegal product seized in 2021 and 144,254 pounds in 2022. The DCC’s Chief in the Law Enforcement Division, Bill Jones, said it was important to continue to target illegal operations.
The big picture: Riverside City Council recently approved an ordinance that would allow up to 14 cannabis retail permits. City staff will continue to develop a process for permit review and implementation, with a plan expected to be proposed to the Riverside City Council this summer.
What to watch: As legalization efforts continue to expand across California, law enforcement agencies may increase their efforts to crack down on illegal cannabis operations. Meanwhile, the development of regulatory frameworks in different areas of the state is likely to continue.
Give your take: The growth of illegal cannabis operations poses risks to consumer safety and the vitality of legal and compliant licensees, making the work of law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies crucial. As the industry continues to evolve and expand, it will be interesting to see how different cities and counties develop their regulatory frameworks and how law enforcement agencies adapt to changing circumstances.