California authorities seize and destroy $1B worth of marijuana

National

FILE – This Aug. 15, 2019 file photo shows a marijuana plant in an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. A survey released on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 says U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest rates in 35 years. Marijuana use continues to be higher in college-age adults than any other age group. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in central California have seized and destroyed about 100 million plants they said were being grown as legal hemp but contained THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

The Kern County Sheriff’s office said it served search warrants at several fields totaling 459 acres in the Arvin area on Oct. 25 as part of a joint investigation with the FBI and California Department of Fish and Wildfire.

The office said samples of the plants tested “well above” the federal limit of 0.3 percent of THC for industrial hemp.

Authorities said the plants were essentially cannabis worth about $1 billion on the black market. They wouldn’t name the grower, citing the ongoing probe.

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