County Allocates $5 Million to Combat Illegal Cannabis Grows and Dispensaries

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — In an effort to stop the illegal cannabis grow operations springing up in the Antelope Valley and the illegal dispensaries opening countywide, the Board of Supervisors approved nearly $5 million to address these crises.

“Illegal cannabis operations continue to threaten the well-being of our residents, water supply, and environment,” Supervisor Barger said. “By empowering and equipping our law enforcement partners with the resources they need, we can better protect our communities.”

The Board allocated $2.4 million to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to bolster their efforts to stop illegal cannabis growing and water theft in the Antelope Valley, citing both environmental damage and quality of life nuisances. Of this funding, $1.2 million is for the Department’s Marijuana Eradication Team to eliminate the grows, $503,000 will go toward overtime for patrol at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, and $707,000 will purchase 10 trucks needed to conduct investigations on rough terrain.

Additionally, the Sheriff’s Department Cannabis Consumer Health and Safety Task Force received $2.5 million to combat illegal dispensaries in unincorporated areas across Los Angeles County as well as illegal growers in the Antelope Valley.

During a 10-day operation this summer in partnership with local, state, and federal partners, the Sheriff’s Department seized 16 tons, or $1.19 billion worth, of illegal cannabis plants in the Antelope Valley. Additionally, they arrested 131 people in connection with the grows, served 205 search warrants, and rescued 180 animals living onsite.

Since 2020, the grows in the Antelope Valley have increased from 150 to more than 500.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s 2021-22 budget includes an additional $500,000 in grant funding for cannabis eradication efforts.

The total supplemental budget approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday was $39.3 billion.

Click here for details about the funding allocation to combat illegal cannabis grows and dispensaries.