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Olson confirmed that the city had served the landowner with two citations: one for marijuana growth and one for improper zoning.

The landowner told police he is not aware of the identity of the owners or their growing operation, but was told they were growing hemp on his land. Growing hemp is legal, but heavily regulated, in Wisconsin.

Often, until the plant is fully grown, THC levels cannot be measured to determine whether it’s classified as legal or illegal, according to Jay Selthofner, a hemp farmer and founder of the Wisconsin Cannabis Activist Network.

It’s legal to grow hemp in Wisconsin

The property is leased to Green Haven Fields LLC, which has an address listed in Brookfield. The company organized in January, according to records from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Police also found marijuana on people driving off the property or in their vehicles.

Operation reportedly included several greenhouses and thousands of plants

All cannabis seeds must be tested and approved by the state before being purchased to prevent the seeds from producing an illegal cannabis strain, Selthofner said. It’s unlikely that seeds for growing hemp could be mistaken for seeds meant to grow marijuana, he said.

But, according to Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern, the police department has not yet requested criminal charges be filed against the operation’s owners, and the final investigation report has yet to be submitted.

Huge marijuana grow

Besides the plants and the cash, detectives seized various infrastructure items used to grow the plants. This includes specialized lighting, power generators to run the lights, and other miscellaneous supplies commonly used to grow marijuana.

There were also a "tremendous amount" of weapons seized, at least a dozen. These included handguns, rifles, and shotguns. 

"Some of the locations had corporate style furniture, break rooms. They had wine, refrigerators with thousand-dollar bottles of wine that they would just sip on. Televisions, vending machines, break rooms," Kelly said.

Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly says the multi-location operation is incredibly sophisticated, fully automated and very well done. "They’re pumping CO2 in to the plants to make the plants grow bigger and stronger. And according to our investigators, this is some of the best, high quality marijuana that they’ve ever seen."

$10M cash, 500K marijuana plants seized in Bay Area’s largest-ever bust

Photo: Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

At one of the locations in Oakland, detectives say there was well over $1 million in electrical generators alone. "These locations pull off so much power that they have to create their own energy, Kelly said.

The cultivation operation was sophisticated, and the sheriff's office says the marijuana quality was the best they've ever seen.

Photo: Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

The people responsible weren't named, but Kelly says the organization is well connected within the state, and possibly in the nation. "These people have connections to foreign nationals, Kelly said.

Huge marijuana grow

Butsch of Massive Seeds and Roganja, believes organic farming helps produce a top-shelf crop, but he admits that the microclimate in Southern Oregon really allows the plants to thrive. Photos by Pete Alport.

Green Manure

Roganja embraces another technique that separates it from other cannabis producers: using the cycles of the moon to determine its planting schedule.

Lunar-Powered

But truly organic, living soil can’t be created overnight. It often takes years of properly developing the soil to create the right microbial balance. At Roganja, this ongoing process ramps up in early March when Butsch plants a cover crop of legumes, beans, peas and radishes. The daikon radishes and fava beans are particularly important at this stage, he says.