Officials Uncover Illegal Electrical Tampering Cases Connected To Cannabis Cultivation

Officials with Santa Cruz County’s Cannabis Licensing Office have discovered several electrical tampering cases connected to the cultivation of over 2,600 indoor cannabis plants.

In a press release on Thursday, officials reminded people that electrical bypassing and meter tampering are illegal and risky. Overloaded transformers or electrical grids can create a wildfire risk.

Electrical bypassing involves installing wires around an electrical meter in order to receive unregulated power from PG&E, according to the press release.

Officials discovered several cases of tampering tied to cannabis cultivation over the course of the last few months.


Last December, an electrical system fire at Branson Ranch Road, Boulder Creek, led them to discover that the system had been tampered with. They then uncovered 910 indoor cannabis plants at the site.

Other cases were found at Ben Lomond, Soquel and other locations in Boulder Creek. They discovered 315 indoor plants at 300 block of Brackney Road, Ben Lomond; 761 plants at the 600 block of Brimblecom, Boulder Creek; 232 plants at the 14000 block of Two Bar Road; and 420 plants and 60 pounds of processed cannabis at the 100 block of La Cima Road, Soquel.

County code allows licensed cannabis retail and delivery. People without licenses can cultivate up to six indoor plants for personal use.

Residents with knowledge of electrical bypassing or meter tampering can contact the county’s Cannabis Licensing Office at (831) 454-3883 or [email protected]

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