A fire at a former Oakland fortune cookie factory Monday revealed to authorities that the facility had been converted into a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation.
Oakland police Sgt. Rich Vierra said today that when firefighters were called to a small fire at a building at 221 Seventh St. on the southern edge of the Chinatown District at about 2:45 p.m. they quickly discovered a marijuana cultivation operation and notified police.
Vierra said the building, which used to house the Kar Mee Fortune Cookie Factory, contained more than 1,000 marijuana plants as well as accessories for growing marijuana, such as a water filtration system, fertilizer and special lights.
The fire caused only minimal damage and there was no smoke damage.
Vierra said it’s “very possible” that authorities will be able to track down the people who were involved in the marijuana-growing operation but they haven’t been able to do so at this point.
The Web site for the Kar Mee Fortune Cookie Factory says it was founded in 1977 and changed hands in early 2007. The company’s goal was to become the largest supplier and seller of fortune cookies in the Bay Area in three years and in the state in five years, according to the Web site.
In addition to regular fortune cookies, the company offered dog cookies and what it referred to as “adult/X-rated cookies.”
The cookie factory’s phone number has been disconnected.