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California illegal pot seizures top $1.5 billion in value

Posted at 1:59 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 16:59:52-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say they have seized more than $1.5 billion worth of illegally grown marijuana plants in California in an annual eradication program.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says Monday the raids netted more than 950,000 plants from nearly 350 growing operation sites this year.

Becerra says nearly 150 people were arrested statewide and 168 weapons were seized.

Becerra says more plants were seized in 2019 than during the operation in 2018, when some of the efforts were impeded by wildfires and smoke covering grows.

Authorities say they could not estimate a street value of the plants seized and based their figures on wholesale prices of $1,600 per plant.

Officials say the illegal grows harm the state's wildlife and waterways.