Deputies with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office destroyed approximately 30,000 cannabis plants in raids at two separate private parcels this week. The busts are the latest in a series of enforcement actions this summer that have highlighted the environmental damage that can result from unlicensed marijuana grows.

The sheriff’s office served search warrants at two sites, a cornfield in Sanger and an undeveloped parcel of land in the city of Fresno. Deputies told local media that illegal pesticides used at the sites could lead to environmental damage, a problem frequently caused by unlicensed cannabis cultivation operations in the state.

In Northern California’s Lake County last month, law enforcement officers from six agencies including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) served a search warrant covering two parcels in the Scotts Valley area of Lakeport. Officers and staff destroyed nearly 52,000 unlicensed cannabis plants, seized seven firearms, confiscated more than $27,000 in cash, and documented approximately 40 violations of the state’s Fish and Game Code.

Unlicensed Grows Threaten The Environment

Unpermitted cannabis cultivation operations frequently commit environmental offenses, which can include the illegal diversion of streams and the unlawful use of pesticides that can harm native wildlife. David Bess, deputy

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