EMERYVILLE -- A 2,000-square-foot warehouse where police last week seized 400 pounds of marijuana with a street value of at least $250,000 was a distribution center and not a grow house, authorities said Tuesday.
The weed, which was found in buckets and bags, had been grown elsewhere and brought to the warehouse in the 4300 block of Halleck Street where an assembly line of workers apparently packaged it for sale, Officer Brian Head said.
Normally, the growing, harvesting and distribution all happen in the same location.
Head said no arrests have been made so far. The grow site has not been located, and, so far, no one has come forward claiming the marijuana was being grown for a medicinal dispensary, authorities said.
Police said one person with an apparent link to the warehouse, a onetime newspaper distribution center near Interstates 80 and 580, claimed it was now being used as a skateboard manufacturing center.
But Head said police only found four skateboards with no wheels in a box.
Police were tipped off to the operation by people in the area who became suspicious of individuals coming and going from the warehouse at all times. Some also said they could detect the odor of marijuana coming from inside, Head said.
Officers did follow-up work that led to the issuance of a search warrant and the discovery of the marijuana last Thursday morning, he said.
The warehouse was "strictly a processing center" where workers would pick the marijuana off stems and ready it for distribution, Head said.
Police found evidence that eight to 10 people would sit in a row at "work stations" atop tables removing cannabis from the stems. Police believe the operation had been going on for at least several months.
It also appears the operation was stealing electricity from an adjacent warehouse.
The pot seizure was Emeryville's largest in the last decade, authorities said.