(Trends Wide)– At a time when the legal sale of marijuana is increasing nationwide, Oregon State Police seized 226,796 kilograms of illegal marijuana last week in a raid outside Medford, estimated to have a street value of $ 500 million, police said.
The Oregon State Police (OSP) Anti-Drug Section team served a search warrant at five industrial-size warehouses in White City on Thursday, police said.
Under state law, adults over the age of 21 can use cannabis within specific limits, but it is illegal to manufacture marijuana without a license. Oregon legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2015.
In last week’s raid, police said the OSP, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement officers seized the large smuggling of marijuana and a weapon over two days.
“This is a very complicated investigation and will take several weeks,” OSP said in a press release.
OSP said investigators discovered that several of the people in the warehouses who were initially detained, identified, interviewed and released were migrant workers living at the site. The police called the living conditions “poor” and said they lacked running water.
The seizure comes at a time when the sale of legal marijuana is flourishing.
Sales reached $ 20 billion in 2020, are on track to surpass $ 26 billion this year, and are expected to jump to $ 45.9 billion in 2025, according to data from Marijuana Business Daily shared on MJBizCon, the annual trade fair for the sector.
The nearly $ 46 billion in sales would make the cannabis industry bigger than the craft beer industry, said Chris Walsh, CEO and president of MJBizDaily.
– Trends Wide’s Alicia Wallace contributed to this report.