Thousands of cannabis plants and several hundred pounds of dried product linked to an illegal operation in the Tepusquet area were seized by Santa Barbara County sheriff's officials following a search warrant served Wednesday.
Detectives with the Cannabis Compliance Team executed the warrant at an unlicensed outdoor cannabis operation in the area of Pine Canyon near Highway 166, where they discovered 4,000 untagged cannabis plants and 200 pounds of dried cannabis product, according to spokeswoman Raquel Zick.
Zick would not provide the address of the grow for security reasons.
Wardens from the Department of Fish and Wildlife and agents assigned to the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting assisted sheriff's officials.
The operation was discovered while officials were reviewing past reports and current active cannabis licenses in the county, according to Zick, who added the cannabis lacked Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Reporting Compliance tags.
"Without licensing and [the tags], the cannabis derived from this operation would have likely entered the illicit market, undercutting the licensed operators in our county and state, and would circumvent the safeguards in place to ensure consumer safety," Zick said.
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