On Jan. 22, a cannabis farm at 5300 Foothill Road was issued a search warrant for unlicensed cannabis operations, possession and sales, resulting in the seizure of some cannabis products. The Sheriff’s Office Cannabis Compliance Team and investigators from the California Department of Food and Agriculture/Cal Cannabis and the Department of Fish and Wildlife served a search warrant off our parcels, only one of which had a license for cultivation and processing of cannabis. The warrant was issued on suspicions that the farm was growing and processing marijuana outside of the licensed parcel as well as possessing and selling cannabis crude oil without a license.
Through the investigation, detectives discovered off-book (black market) marijuana sales associated with the farm. During the warrant service, detectives found a small volatile extrication lab along with extracted oil—both of which are outside of the grower’s license. Approximately 20 pounds of illegally stored cannabis was seized as well as over 1,000 pounds of cannabis crude oil.
The owner, Barry Brand, was issued a citation for illegal possession of marijuana for sales (misdemeanor) and the investigation is ongoing.
Brand and his farm had been members of the Carpinteria Association of Responsible Producers (CARP Growers). On learning of the citation and seizures, the CARP Growers Board of Directors said in a statement, “Barry Brand has withdrawn membership pending the results of the investigation into irregularities with his licensed operations. CARP was formed predicated on compliance and best practices; the foundation of our membership requirements are to be current and compliant with all state and county rules. The investigation is evidence that the state track and trace system is working as designed. That irregularities that would have gone unnoticed in a prohibition or pre-regulation environment are now noticed and followed up on is exactly what is supposed to happen.”