The Kern County Sheriff’s Office recently conducted a joint investigation with the FBI and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife of 11 hemp fields in Arvin.
The investigation discovered those hemp fields were actually cannabis, according to KERO-TV.
The 11 fields spread collectively across 459 acres of land and held 10 million marijuana plants.
The value of the cannabis discovered is estimated at more than $1 billion on the black market, KERO-TV said.
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"These illicit marijuana gardens were grown under the guise of legitimate hemp production," the Kern County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
"The Food and Agricultural Code and Health and Safety Code define industrial hemp has containing less than 0.3% THC content. The research exemption allows for cultivators to grow and possess hemp/cannabis that is over 0.3% THC content, if that cultivation or possession contributes to the development of types of industrial hemp that will comply with the three-tenths of 1% THC limit established in this division."
Preliminary testing results show the THC levels in the fields in Arvin were significantly above the legal limits for industrial hemp production, the sheriff's office said.
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