Los Angeles County authorities seize $1 billion in marijuana

California

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. In what could be a temporary victory for California’s legal cannabis industry, a state judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to overturn a state rule allowing home deliveries statewide, even into communities that banned commercial marijuana sales. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities said Wednesday that they seized $1 billion worth of illegal marijuana in the largest eradication effort in Los Angeles County history.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva plans a Wednesday news conference to discuss details of an operation that seized 373,000 marijuana plants and 33,480 pounds of harvested pot with an estimated street value of nearly $1.2 billion.

California broadly legalized recreational marijuana sales in January 2018. But the black market thrives, partly because hefty legal marijuana taxes send consumers looking for better deals.

Tons of marijuana have been discovered in law enforcement raids this year in rural Southern California areas.

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