California’s illegally grown marijuana, once largely produced in national forests and other outdoor locations, is increasingly found indoors, federal statistics show.
In 2016, authorities seized 313,000 plants from indoor operations in California, which made up 75 percent of all indoor plants taken nationwide, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
While the total accounts for only 8 percent of all seizures in California, that is the highest total in at least eight years.
California voters approved the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in November 2016. But local laws still place limits on how it can be grown, and federal law prohibits it.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
A DEA spokeswoman in San Francisco said she was “unable to speculate” why authorities are seizing more indoor-grown marijuana. She noted that the figures come from local as well as federal law-enforcement agencies.
A November 2016 report by the DEA said marijuana is increasingly grown inside because “indoor production is more difficult for law enforcement to discover and has the advantage of not having to rely on climate conditions or growing seasons.”
Last month, law-enforcement agencies reported four separate busts of indoor growing operations in the Sacramento area – in Elk Grove, Roseville and unincorporated Yolo County. Authorities seized a total of more than 7,000 plants and arrested several suspects, including some with ties to the East Coast.