Continuing to protect public safety, safeguard natural resources, and advance the integrity of the licensed cannabis market, the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce (UCETF) seized more than $312 million in unlicensed cannabis during its first calendar year of operation.
Among the highlights from the operations in 2023 were the seizure of almost 190,000 pounds of illegal cannabis, the eradication of almost 318,000 plants, and the seizure of 119 illegally-possessed firearms.
“California is effectively decreasing the illegal cannabis market by leveraging the strengths and knowledge of over 20 state agencies and departments alongside our local and federal partners. The UCETF’s progress in 2023 reflects California’s ongoing commitment to disrupting and dismantling illegal cannabis activity,” stated Director Nicole Elliott of the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC). “I look forward to working with all our partners in 2024 to build on this progress.”
“Since its inception in late 2022, California’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce has hit the ground running with year-round operations that spanned from the Oregon state line all the way down to San Diego,” said California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham. “We’ve sent a strong message that illegal operations that harm our natural resources, threaten the safety of workers, and put consumer health at risk have no place in California. While there is more work to be done, we made progress last year, and I look forward to going further alongside our county, state, and federal partners.”
The results of UCETF’s FY 2023 and Q4 2023 enforcement actions are:
In addition to releasing the Q4 and yearly totals for 2023, the task force announced the top 5 counties for enforcement activity (according to the value of cannabis seized) in the calendar year 2023. They are:
Since its inception, UCETF has seized $317,578,792.29 in unlicensed cannabis through 218 search warrants. The task force has also eradicated 347,321 plants and seized 128 firearms.
Created by Governor Newsom in 2022, the Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce has been charged by the Governor to align state efforts further and increase cannabis enforcement coordination between state, local, and federal partners. UCETF’s enforcement actions protect consumer and public safety, safeguard the environment, and deprive illegal cannabis operators and transnational criminal organizations of illicit revenue that harms consumers and undercuts the regulated cannabis market in California.
The task force is co-chaired by the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and coordinated by the Homeland Security Division of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The task force includes more than two dozen local, state, and federal partners working together to disrupt the illegal cannabis market.