California is down about a billion dollars in weed after a big fat raid on supposed legal hemp farms.

Responding to a tip, the Kern County Hseriff’s Office, joined by the FBI and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, searched 11 fields in Arvin, California. The law enforcement agencies reportedly found about 10 million marijuana plants, which they either seized or destroyed.

Facebook postfrom the local sheriff’s office said that the “illicit marijuana gardens were grown under the guise of legitimate hemp production.”

Since the 2018 Farm BIll, it has been legal to grow hemp, which the federal government defines for this purpose as having a THC content of less than 0.3%. The sheriff’s office wrote that “Preliminary testing showed the levels of THC in these fields were well over the legal limit for industrial hemp production.”

The investigation is still ongoing.

Though law enforcement has portrayed the operation as intentionally criminal one, High Timesnotes that there has been much confusion among both farmers and police over the difference between legal hemp and illegal marijuana.

For instance, authorities in both Florida and Texas have admitted that they don’t have the technology to accurately distinguish between the two. Meanwhile, a truck load of “marijuana” has been seized in Colorado, though the producers of the cannabis said they conducted 19 different tests of samples which revealed a THC content of only 0.43%.

Photo via Flickr/Maja Dumat

Natalie