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[REGIONAL NEWS] ‘Getting worse, not better’: Illegal pot market booming in California despite legalization

Posted by   /  April 28, 2019  /  No Comments

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A worker packages cannabis at the CMX Distribution facility in Costa Mesa, Calif. The center is a licensed medical marijuana distributor.
/CreditJenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

By Thomas Fuller | The New York Times

In the forests of Northern California, raids by law enforcement officials continue to uncover illicit marijuana farms. In Southern California, hundreds of illegal delivery services and pot dispensaries, some of them registered as churches, serve a steady stream of customers. And in Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, the sheriff’s office recently raided an illegal cannabis production facility that was processing 500 pounds of marijuana a day.

It’s been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana — the largest such experiment in the United States — but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded.

“There’s a lot of money to be made in the black market,” said Thomas D. Allman, the sheriff of Mendocino County, whose deputies seized cannabis oil worth more than $5 million in early April.

Legalization, Sheriff Allman said, “certainly didn’t put cops out of work.”

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  • Published: 4 weeks ago on April 28, 2019
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  • Last Modified: May 2, 2019 @ 4:22 pm
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