The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) this week served search warrants at properties in the Dinsmore and Weitchpec areas, eradicating tens of thousands of illegally grown cannabis plants.
On May 26, 2020, MET served a search warrant at a parcel in the Weitchpec area with the assistance of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, CalCannabis, Humboldt County Code Enforcement, Humboldt County Environmental Health, and a HAZMAT unit.
Cannabis was allegedly being grown on the parcel for commercial purposes without the proper county permit and state license.
According to a MET press release, deputies eradicated approximately 18,690 growing cannabis plants and destroyed 818 pounds of processed flower.
No arrests were made during the service of the warrants, but assisting agencies numerous found numerous violations, including water diversion, water pollution, failure to label hazardous waste containers, failure to report hazardous waste containers, failure to report hazardous materials release, failure to prevent a hazardous waste release, improper storage and removal of solid waste, and building without a permit.
Together, the violations carry a combined daily total of nearly $300,000 in potential fines.
On May 27, MET served search warrants at three parcels in the Dinsmore area where unlicensed cannabis cultivation was allegedly taking place.
None of the parcels had the mandatory county permit or state license for commercial cannabis cultivation.
Deputies eradicated approximately 9,910 growing cannabis plants and disposed of approximately 7,120 pounds of processed flower.
Deputies did not make any arrests, but assisting agencies found nine water diversion violations and other commercial cannabis violations.
The water diversion violations carry a fine of up to $8,000 per day per violation, and the commercial cannabis violations carry a $10,000-a-day fine.
Assisting agencies anticipate filing additional charges with civil fines for both cases.