Raids on two illegal Oakland cannabis-growing operations resulted in one of the biggest drug busts in Bay Area history, according to the California Department of Cannabis Control.
Authorities said they seized nearly 40,000 cannabis plants in the raids on April 25 that were carried out in partnership with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Over $36 million worth of cannabis was seized in the raids at 744 Kevin Court and 4825 San Leandro St. No arrests have been announced in connection with the raids as of publication.
Each plant can produce between half a pound and one pound of dried cannabis product, the Department of Cannabis Control said.
"It's an extremely large total," said cannabis department spokesperson David Hafner.
The Kevin Court raid was the larger of the two, where authorities seized close to $20 million worth of cannabis along with over $150,000 in cash. A report from the raid connected the operation with the Jackson Street Boys, a San Francisco-based gang.
At San Leandro Street, PG&E shut the power off after the raid at the direction of Oakland city fire inspectors due to unsafe electrical wiring. The Oakland Fire Department did not have further information about the drug bust at that location.
The illegal cannabis industry is estimated to be significantly larger than the legal industry, with $8.1 billion in illegally grown cannabis sold in California in 2022, compared with $5.4 billion in legal sales, Hafner said.
The recent raids still didn't amount to the largest drug bust in Bay Area history, as the Alameda County Sheriff's Department seized $10 million in cash and $40 million worth of cannabis in an October 2021 raid.
The Department of Cannabis Control and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are co-chairs of the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Task Force, which was created in 2021 by Gov. Gavin Newsom to act as a cannabis law enforcement body.
PG&E did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
Garrett Leahy can be reached at [email protected]