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5,000 Pot Plants Seized at California Shopping Mall

Maureen Meehan

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Santa Fe Springs used to be an oil town, but now most of the adult population works in the light industry or service jobs, which center around shopping and strip malls. Growing pot in these malls seemed like a good idea to someone, at least until the cops recently raided one, seizing 5,000 plants.

The quaintly-named Santa Fe Springs Problem Oriented Policing team along with the Whittler police served warrants this week and began the process of dragging away a lot of weed from an industrial strip mall.

“It’s hard to quantify the value since they are in different stages of growth and different strains,” said Lt. Michael Przybyl of the Whittier police.

Przybyl told the Whittier Daily News that the raid was the result of several months of investigative work and that several people were detained in connection with the raid but no arrests have been made.

Meanwhile, a Canyon County strip mall was moonlighting as a grow site in Los Angeles until the LA County Sheriff’s Department Marijuana Dispensary Task Force raided it, finding nearly 2,500 plants.

Deputies arrested one person and seized more than $6 million worth of growing and cured pot, as well as edibles, mostly cookies, according to local CBS News.

The growing operation included carbon filters and air conditioning systems to conceal the odor, which didn’t seem to work too well because, police say, a citizen report tipped them off.

Investigators found “an elaborate indoor marijuana grow system,” in several of the strip mall units, said LA police deputy Juanita Navarro-Juarez.

Why shopping malls, one might ask. All that unused space is irresistible to those with an enthusiastic green thumb.

Remember back in 2008 , when a hydroponic nursery with more than 200 marijuana plants was found in a second floor storage area at the Mall of the Americas in Miami?

Why not open a cannabis mall and make it official?

This is what developers are planning in Colorado.  The “World’s First Pot Mini Mall” is in the works, as the Trinidad Holding Company, LLC (THC) wait for final approval from city council.

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