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12K marijuana plants, 3K pounds of pot seized in Jackson County

The site had been under investigation for a month and had no licensing for any type cannabis production, police said.
Credit: AP
FILE - A marijuana bud is seen before harvest near Corvallis, Ore. on Sept. 30, 2016. Seven years after Oregon voters passed a ballot measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and its regulated cultivation and sale, the state is grappling with an explosion of illegal marijuana farms, and after hearing testimony during the week of Dec. 13, 2021, the Oregon Legislature dedicated $25 million to combatting them. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

EAGLE POINT, Ore. — Investigators seized more than 12,000 marijuana plants in 32 greenhouses from a marijuana grow site in southern Oregon on Thursday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives from the Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputies served a search warrant at a rural property in Eagle Point at about 6:45 a.m., officials said in a statement.

The property contained the cannabis plants and 3,000 pounds of processed marijuana, sheriff's officials said.

Police detained seven workers at the site. They were interviewed and released, officials said.

RELATED: Police: Cartels in Oregon are morphing their pot-growing ops

The grow site had been under investigation for a month and had no licensing for any type of cannabis growing, handling, or processing, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office said it has identified a primary suspect.

County code enforcement also issued citations totaling $67,000 for unapproved greenhouse structures, unapproved marijuana production, and unpermitted electrical installations, the sheriff's office said.

The statement also said investigators observed unauthorized well water use for commercial crop irrigation, which is subject to civil and criminal penalties.

RELATED: Overwhelmed by illegal marijuana grows, two Southern Oregon counties are calling a halt on hemp

The Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team is a multi-agency task force in the Rogue Valley paid for by a grant from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.

This isn't the first time law enforcement agents have made large-scale marijuana busts in Jackson County. State police seized about 500,000 pounds of marijuana in a single bust Jackson County in November.

Officials in Jackson County and other parts of Southern Oregon have been dealing with an overwhelming number of illegal marijuana growing operations in the region in the past year. 

The problem has gotten so bad that the Jackson County Board of Commissioners appealed directly to Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon State Legislature in October, seeking an emergency declaration.

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