California is increasing its efforts to cut illegal cannabis operations

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California cannabis regulators are enhancing policies to target illegal cultivation

The legal cannabis industry in California faces serious problems in generating profits and the flexibility of the authorities in the last two decades has favored the black market. However, it appears that some have already stepped up to the plate in an effort to crack down on this problem in the Golden State. The attorney general recently announced a broader effort to eliminate illicit cannabis operations.

Six years after cannabis legalization, California is replete with signs of the industry’s apparent growth. Californians can smoke Justin Bieber-brand joints and toss the ashes into $95 ashtrays made by Seth Rogen.

They can drink THC-laced sodas, kick back with a cannabis latte and order edibles to be delivered home. But behind this facade, the legal cannabis industry remains far from the thriving, law-abiding sector many had hoped for.

For this reason, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a few days ago a broader effort to eliminate legal marijuana operations in the state. It is certainly news that many legal cannabis businesses have been waiting to hear as they continue to fight for their prosperity.

According to the announcement, Bonta intends to expand the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program. This new effort will be converted into a permanent Illicit Cannabis Eradication and Prevention (EPIC) task force.

The CAMP program is already considered the largest in the US and lasts about 90 days each summer. That program was able to gather nearly one million illicit marijuana plants so far in 2022. CAMP has the goal of prosecuting underlying labor crimes, environmental crimes, and the underground economy associated with illegal marijuana cultivation.

With the support of federal, state, and local agencies, the expanded program hopes to continue to fade California’s illegal market. Bonta called the shift an important mindset change. “The illicit market outweighs the legal market,” he said. “It’s upside down and our goal is the complete eradication of the illegal market.”