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Fairfield Police Department seizes 9,000 cannabis plants in months-long crackdown

Ten cases of illegal cannabis growing operations were discovered through a duel investigation between the Major Crimes and Code Enforcement units.

FAIRFIELD, Calif. — For the past six months, police in Fairfield have been ramping enforcement efforts on illegal cannabis operations citywide — uncovering at least 10 unsanctioned marijuana farms and 9,000 plants, Fairfield police announced Friday.

Fairfield police conducted a similar operation earlier this year when officers seized five growing locations, an assault rifle and made four arrests.

As opposed to cannabis from licensed retail fronts, off-market products are rarely tested for hazardous chemicals and other potentially dangerous foreign materials.

Operating outside the scope of California marijuana laws, illegal growers have no obligation to regulate chemicals used to grow cannabis indoors, nor must they grow in a facility safe for workers.

At least two of the unsanctioned growing operations were discovered only after fires broke out and engulfed the structures, police said. Hazards workers face on the pot farms include the presence of flammable fertilizers, structural modifications and overloaded electrical circuits.

The City Council issued its first retail cannabis permits on June 15 to allow cannabis retail and manufacturing companies to do business in the city – which councilmembers said should bring $1.19 million in estimated sales tax during the first full year.

Since seizing the cannabis growth facilities, six of the 10 houses can now return to regular use, while Fairfield police continue evaluating the remaining ones.

In 2016, the city made one of its largest busts when it recovered an illegal operation and its products valued at $2.9 million.


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