As more licenses to grow marijuana are added, illegal growing has also risen in California
Recreational cannabis sales began in January 2018, and while many have played by the rules, the illegal growth and sale of the plant continues to undermine those following the rules.
Licensed to grow, manufacture and sell
State license issuance began in 2018, but data isn’t available for that initial year because they were issued as temporary licenses. Data sets begin in 2019, when 12-month annual and provisional licenses began to be issued, using the online licensing systems. Licenses remain active for one year, at which point they can be renewed for an additional 12 months. This list displays counts of when the licenses were first issued, but not each time one was renewed.
Cannabis status by state
Marijuana is legal for adults to use in 18 states and Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana is legal in 37.Most recently, New Mexico, Virginia and Connecticut legalized recreational cannabis.
Illegal plants seized in California by year
Since its establishment in 1983, the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting has had more than 110 law enforcement agencies involved, making it one of the largest law enforcement task forces in the U.S.
Street value? Pot can vary a lot in quality and value, but with a conservative estimate that a plant can yield one pound of average weed at $1,600 a pound, the 1.11 million plants seized in 2020 could have a street value of about $1.77 billion.
That would make it the eighth most valued commodity in California agriculture.
California top commodities of 2019:
- Dairy products: $7.34 billion
- Almonds: $6.09 billion
- Grapes: $5.41 billion
- Cattle: $3.06 billion
- Strawberries: $2.22 billion
- Pistachios: $1.94 billion
- Lettuce: $1.82 billion
- Illegal marijuana plants seized: $1.77 billion (based on estimates)