During his state of the state address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 360 National Guard troops currently on duty guarding the U.S.-Mexican border would be called upon to “seek and destroy” unlicensed cannabis farms in Northern California, many of which are run by cartels and pose extreme environmental hazards.
“There are legitimate concerns. . . they are getting worse, not better,” Newsom stated, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I want to see more enforcement.”
As much as 80% of the marijuana sold in California comes from the black market, according to an estimate by New Frontier Data, a firm that tracks cannabis sales and trends. Analysts also found that California’s illicit pot market was valued at an estimated $3.7 billion last year, more than four times the size of the legal market.
“We have to hold accountable those that are not participating in the legal market,” Newsom said, “particularly those that are continuing to profit off of illegal grows.”