On July 7th, 2023

California’s Statewide Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce Seizes More Than $109 Million Worth of Unlicensed Cannabis Products April-June 2023

“California law enforcement officers are working to protect the legal cannabis industry, consumers, the environment, and public safety by investigating illegal operations that pose a threat to each.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona

CALIFORNIA – On July 5, 2023, the California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) announced the results of its taskforce efforts for the second quarter of 2023. The Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) seized more than $109 million in illegal cannabis April-June 2023. This total represents a 104 percent increase from the $52 million in unlicensed cannabis and cannabis products seized in the first quarter of 2023.

“This well-orchestrated taskforce continues to reach new heights on shutting down a variety of illicit operations that range from dispensaries to indoor grow houses to outdoor cultivations sites among other facets in the illegal supply chain,” said David Bess, Chief of Enforcement for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). “These enforcement numbers speak volumes on the dedication, perseverance, and organization of this multiagency taskforce. I could not be prouder of what we are accomplishing as a team.”

“Our enforcement efforts are becoming increasingly diversified along the illegal cannabis supply chain as we served warrants on several unlicensed dispensaries in this quarter in addition to unlicensed cultivation operations,” stated Bill Jones, Chief of the Law Enforcement Division for DCC. “As the taskforce continues to evolve and the combined resources of our partners plays an even greater role in our operations, we will be disrupting the illegal market at several different points along their supply chain.”

UCETF Operations Q1 2023 Q2 2023 Percent Change
Search Warrants Served 21 92 338%
Pounds of Cannabis Seized 31,912 66,315.01 108%
Retail Value of Cannabis Products Seized  $52,644,020.50  $109,277,688.94  108%
Cannabis Plants Eradicated 52,529 120,970 130%
Firearms Seized 4 19 375%
Money Seized $12,602 $223,809 1776%


In 2023 UCETF has seized $161,921,709.44 in unlicensed cannabis through the serving of 113 search warrants. The taskforce has also eradicated 173,499 plants and seized 23 firearms.

Created in 2022, the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce has been charged by the Governor to better align state efforts and increase cannabis enforcement coordination between state, local and federal partners. The Taskforce is co-chaired by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and coordinated by the Homeland Security Division of Cal OES. The taskforce includes more than two dozen local, state, and federal partners working together to disrupt the illegal cannabis market.


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