Kern County destroys 10 million marijuana plants disguised as hemp


The Kern County Sheriff’s Office destroyed more than 459 acres of marijuana last week, with a value of more than $1 billion. The pot plants had been cultivated under the guise of hemp. []

Even though marijuana and hemp are both members of the cannabis family, they have different levels of THC, the intoxicant in pot, creating vastly different regulations and profit margins. Marijuana sells for four to five times the price of hemp, which is required to have 0.3 percent or less THC.

An investigation by the FBI and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife discovered an alleged hemp grower was actually growing approximately 10 million marijuana plants in 11 fields. Authorities in Kern County then seized and destroyed approximately 10 million marijuana plants.