California Seizes Illegal Cannabis Products Worth $53 Million in Just 3 Months

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: In the first quarter of 2024, the Governor’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce seized over $53 million in illegal cannabis products. Authorities seized nearly 32,000 pounds of unlicensed cannabis and eradicated 54,000 illegal plants during the crackdown.

SACRAMENTO – Reinforcing California’s commitment to supporting a legal and safe cannabis industry and dismantling the illegal market, today Governor Newsom announced the Governor’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) seized $53.62 million in illegal cannabis in the first quarter of this calendar year — including 54,137 unlicensed cannabis plants and 31,866 pounds of unlicensed cannabis products.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID:  “California is home to the largest legal cannabis market in the world. As we continue to cultivate a legal marketplace, we’re taking aggressive action to crack down on those still operating in the shadows — shutting down illegal operations linked to organized crime, human trafficking, and the proliferation of illegal products that harm the environment and public health.”

Operations were conducted in the counties of Alameda, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Joaquin, and Orange County. Enforcement highlights from the period of January 1 through March 31, 2024, include:

  • $53,620,600 million in illegal cannabis seized
  • 31,866 pounds of unlicensed cannabis seized
  • 54,137 unlicensed cannabis plants eradicated
  • 11 firearms seized

Since its inception, UCETF has seized $371,199,431 in unlicensed cannabis through 236 search warrants. The taskforce has also eradicated 401,458 plants and seized 139 firearms. Created by Governor Newsom in 2022, the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce has been charged by the Governor to further align state efforts and increase cannabis enforcement coordination between state, local and federal partners. UCETF’s enforcement actions protect consumer and public safety, safeguard the environment, and deprive illegal cannabis operators and transnational criminal organizations of illicit revenue that harms consumers and undercuts the regulated cannabis market in California.

State agencies and departments participating in UCETF operations during Q1 2024 include: Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Department of Cannabis Control, Employment Development Department, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, California State Parks, and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration. In addition, multiple federal and local partners assisted with enforcement operations.

To learn more about the legal California cannabis market, state licenses, and laws, visit