Task Force Gets Down to Cannabis Cultivation at Former Hemp Farm

Authorities announced on Tuesday that they had confiscated more than 30,000 cannabis plants in a search of a hemp farm turned marijuana cultivation location northwest of San Jacinto.

The raid occurred at the end of last week in the 18700 block of Bridge Street, close to Mystic Lake, and involved personnel from the Riverside County Cannabis Regulation Task Force, including investigators from the District Attorney’s Office, police officers from Corona, Hemet, and Riverside, and sheriff’s deputies.

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Over 34,000 plants and 4,600 pounds of processed pot were seized, according to a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, who identified himself as John Hall.

No one was taken into custody. Nonetheless, during the execution of a different search warrant at a Temecula property, authorities were able to get in touch with the individual who had been issued a county permit for hemp production at the site.

The identity of that individual was not revealed, and the investigation is still underway.

Hall claimed that the plants had been “taken and confiscated for destruction.”

In 2020, the Board of Supervisors in Riverside County, California, enacted a Hemp Activities Ordinance that set down regulations for the industry.

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Prior to the approval of the ordinance, more than a hundred hemp farms had been authorized throughout the county, and the majority of these were “grandfathered” into the permitting scheme, allowing them to continue operating for specified periods before new applications were required to be filed with the county Transportation & Land Management Agency.

Hemp and pure marijuana differ primarily in the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they contain. The Office of County Counsel reports that hemp leaves contain about 0.3% of the compounds found in cannabis leaves.

However, unlike cannabis, hemp is not federally designated as a controlled substance, and its production is permitted on Native American lands under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. In January of 2020, the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians authorized the cultivation of hemp in the area around Mountain Center.

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