Acting on a tip, Sheriff’s deputies executed an early morning marijuana search warrant at a residence in the 42000 block of South Fork Drive on Friday, May 29. After gaining entry to the house, an indoor grow site with 77 plants and growing equipment was discovered.
From evidence gathered at the scene, it was learned that the property’s tenant was also connected with another Three Rivers residence. Deputies responded to that address in the 42000 block of Sunset Drive.
That house contained an additional 141 plants in an indoor grow room. Arrested at the Sunset Drive residence was Jeffrey Howard, 30, of Three Rivers. The estimated retail value of the mature marijuana was $109,000.
Other equipment was located used in the extraction of THC. The extract is an oily, tar-like substance that can be sold in small containers.
The user will inhale the substance’s vapors. To ingest the THC derivative, a specialized glass bong with a glass nail instead of a bowl is used to apply heat to a dab of the oily substance and then vaporized.
The vaporized extract is drawn through a water filter and then inhaled into the lungs. Crack cocaine users have long employed a similar method to reduce lung damage.
It’s no surprise that pot growers who now cultivate cannabis with a higher THC content would invent a healthier alternative to ingesting the toxic smoke from a traditional pipe or joint. The research and product development was spurred on by the explosive growth of the medical and recreational marijuana industries.
However, growing large quantities of pot for sale is still illegal in California. Howard was booked into Tulare County Jail to face charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, and possession of a conversion lab.