Cannabis plants are seen at a facility on Feb. 20, 2019 in Sainte-Eustache, Que. (Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Mounties in British Columbia's southern Interior have destroyed a bumper crop of bud after finding thousands of illegal marijuana plants.

A statement from RCMP says as many as 100,000 plants were discovered growing along Highway 8, outside Merritt, about 250 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.

Police say Health Canada had not authorized the cannabis grow operation.

Officers returned with a search warrant last Friday and destroyed the plants along with a quantity of dried and processed marijuana.

Police estimate the value of the drugs at around $8 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.