Oakland Police and the Great Fruitvale Cannabis Giveaway | Chronic TownPosted by On


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This illegal pot grow’s power consumption evidently blew a PG&E transformer. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT ANDRUS

  • Photo courtesy of Matt Andrus
  • This illegal pot grow’s power consumption evidently blew a PG&E transformer.

For a couple hours on the afternoon of June 3, a stream of vehicles drove to 4030 International Blvd. in Oakland’s Fruitvale District, to be greeted by some smiling cops. Some of the braver visitors asked the cops, somewhat nervously, “I heard the police were giving away pot plants. Is that true?” Sort of, the cops replied, and helpfully pointed the desirous visitors toward the area where Matt Andrus was waiting to help load about 1,000 young, Blue Dream cannabis plants into their cars and trucks.

This is all in Andrus’s telling. He owns the Sequoia Crossfit gym, the complex’s largest tenant. A few weeks prior, on May 12, one of the electrical transformers serving the complex blew out. On June 1, with the power still out, the building’s owner, Inyoung Boyd, finally showed up and the two of them discovered the likely reason for the blowout: somebody had been illicitly growing thousands of cannabis plant on the property, in what Andrus had believed was a “quinceañera store.” About 6,000 plants had been removed, leaving nothing but growing equipment. The operation, a PG&E employee told them, was likely putting a huge load on the electrical system thanks to all the lighting and HVAC equipment the growers were using. On June 3, the pair discovered, in a different, padlocked space on the property, a separate, smaller growing operation, this one still containing plants — about 1,000 of them. The equipment was similar to that found in the larger space.

So they called the cops. According to…

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