Drones deployed to spot illegal marijuana growers

Sale and consumption of pot is, of course, legal in California ­– so long as producers, retailers, and consumers do their business according to regulations. But because not all actors in the sector are following those rules, drones are being brought in to help authorities crack down on illegal marijuana growers.

Aerial surveillance to spot people illicitly profiting from legalized pot

When California legalized pot for recreational purposes in 2016, it liberated a new and increasingly massive business activity (not, however, for drone deliveries, which remain prohibited). A $4 billion largely underground market when California lifted its legal ban, the marijuana sector last year generated over $35 billion in sales, and nearly a billion in tax revenues. But now Big Cannabis is also about to, ahem, dope drone sales as authorities turn to the craft to identify regulation-breaking growers.

Use of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) for that purpose has already been…