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Bellingham police raid medical marijuana shops, employees arrested

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 16th 2012 by THCFinder

The raids continue and our tax payers dolloars continue to be wasted at a time where our economy could sure use a boost in revenue instead continuing to waste funds on useless raids. What good will this do for the community? It's been proven dispensaries do not cause additional crime in areas, they simply help medical marijuana patients legally obtain their medicine at a safe and reliable facility. Taking away these places will just send medical patients to street dealers where they could end up with tainted meds or worse...

BELLINGHAM - Three Bellingham medical marijuana cooperatives were shut down and five people were arrested Thursday afternoon, March 15, after Bellingham Police officers raided the businesses.
 
Two people were arrested at the Northern Cross medical marijuana collective at 1311 Cornwall Ave., including owner Martin O. Nickerson. At The Joint Cooperative, 1311 11th St., one employee was arrested.
 
All three were booked into Whatcom County Jail for failure to appear for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. KGB Collective, 1130 Finnegan Way, was raided as well, though it was unclear if anyone was arrested at the store.
 
All three medical marijuana collectives were ordered to cease operations of their businesses immediately in letters delivered by the Bellingham Police March 9, after the collectives continued operating without business registrations. The city began to revoke or denied business registrations for medical marijuana dispensaries and co-ops in late 2011. Without those registrations, the businesses were operating in violation of municipal code.
 
The letters informed the collectives that "business activities involving the sale and distribution of marijuana" violate Washington state law, and "therefore constitute criminal behavior."
 
The collectives remained open after the letters, and Nickerson and the owner of The Joint were planning to fight the city's closure request. They hired a Seattle law firm to file an injunction with a motion for a temporary restraining order to allow the businesses to remain open. That was set to be filed Friday, March 16, and attorney Hilary Bricken said it still will. She described the raids as un-American, draconian and unconstitutional under state law.
 

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Prominent Berkeley marijuana dispensary to close shop

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, March, 15th 2012 by THCFinder
One of California’s biggest medical marijuana establishments – embraced by local officials as a model business that donates to the poor and pays millions in taxes – has become the latest target in a statewide crackdown by federal prosecutors. 
 
Berkeley Patients Group, founded in 1999 by leading names in the state’s medical marijuana movement, will cease operations at its current location later this year, according to an agreement between the dispensary’s owners and the landlord. The document was signed on Feb. 28 by Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay.
 
“Berkeley Patients Group agrees to cease all cannabis-related activities and remove all cannabis-related property from the premises by May 1, 2012,” the document states. Legal experts said agreements of this kind can be revised, but it was unclear if that was possible in this case.
 
The decision to shutter the outlet on San Pablo Avenue was triggered by a warning from Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California. In a letter sent to the owner of the building that houses the dispensary, Haag said federal prosecutors would file a forfeiture action if marijuana continued to be distributed at the location. Berkeley Patients Group has leased the property since 1999 and operates under a city license. 
 
The letter cited violations of federal law and the fact that the outlet is within 1,000 feet of two schools: the Center for Early Intervention on Deafness, which also houses a preschool, and Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, a French bilingual grade school.
 
“Marijuana dispensaries are full of cash and they’re full of marijuana, and everybody knows that," Haag said in an interview. "They are at risk of being robbed, and many of them are robbed.” 
 

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Boulder DA asks feds to back off on medical marijuana dispensaries

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Wed, March, 14th 2012 by THCFinder

Boulders DA steps up and asks the Feds to stop wasting Tax Payers hard earned money on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries who are doing everything they can to abide by the laws and regulations that have been set forth by the state of Colorado.

Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett has sent a letter to the top federal prosecutor in Colorado, asking the feds to drop their crack-down on medical-marijuana dispensaries that are abiding by state law.
 
In the letter, dated Tuesday, Garnett writes that Colorado has created a system for regulating medical-marijuana businesses that is working and argues it is not worth the federal government's time to target dispensaries abiding by state law.
 
"I can see no legitimate basis in this judicial district to focus the resources of the United States government on the medical marijuana dispensaries that are otherwise compliant with Colorado law or local regulation," Garnett wrote in the letter to Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "The people of Boulder County do not need Washington D.C. or the federal government dictating how far dispensaries should be from schools, or other fine points of local land-use law."
 
 

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Landlords of Marijuana Shops Could Lose Property

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
As California courts and government officials try to unsnarl conflicting state and local laws on medical marijuana, U.S. attorneys are sending a clear message to anyone who rents property to a pot dispensary: We can and will seize your property. 
 
The state's four U.S. attorneys in October began sending warning letters to medical marijuana dispensary operators and owners of the properties they occupy, including some in the Inland area. In some cases, the U.S. attorneys filed civil asset forfeiture lawsuits. 
 
Steven Welk, chief of asset forfeiture for the U.S. attorney's central district of California, gave an update on those efforts at a Thursday meeting of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce. 
 
Out of hundreds of cases his agency has reviewed, Welk said, they found maybe one dispensary operator who owned the property rather than leasing. Under federal law, authorities can seize property linked to criminal activity, he said. 
 
"(Asset forfeiture) is the most potent weapon that the federal government has, particularly with respect to drug policy," Welk said. 
 
Riverside City Attorney Greg Priamos, who invited Welk to speak to the chamber, has sought to close all marijuana facilities in the city using court injunctions. In January, he and Police Chief Sergio Diaz asked U.S. attorneys to provide enforcement help in Riverside to close remaining dispensaries. 
 
California voters approved the medical use of marijuana in 1996, but state law is currently a mess, with conflicting court rulings on whether local governments can ban or merely regulate dispensaries. The state Supreme Court has agreed to review several appeals court rulings on marijuana cases, including one brought by Priamos. 
 
"From my point of view, I really don't care what the current state of the law is in the state of California, because there's no ambiguity whatsoever with respect to federal law," Welk said. "Marijuana is a controlled substance under federal law." 
 
Medical marijuana supporters have decried the federal crackdown, arguing it is a state issue and closing dispensaries will force legitimate users to turn to illegal sources.
 

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Marijuana dispensary in Upland raided by DEA

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Tue, March, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
UPLAND -- The federal Drug Enforcement Administration served a search warrant Monday at G3 Holistic Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary that has been at odds with the city for the past couple of years.
 
DEA officials said they seized at least 25 pounds of marijuana and 89 pounds of edible products containing marijuana, according to the DEA.
 
No arrests were made.
 
DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen confirmed that the search warrant had been issued at G3 and that the federal agency has been working with the state Attorney General's Office.
 
G3 President Aaron Sandusky said law enforcement officers also took security camera equipment and raided a safe as well as an ATM from the second floor facility at 1710 W. Foothill Blvd.
 
Law enforcement "is acting like a terrorist organization," Sandusky said.
 
DEA officials came into the dispensary with guns drawn about 9:30 a.m., he said.
 
"I had four patients in here, and they were all handcuffed and interviewed," Sandusky said.
 
Law enforcement officials were seen leaving the facility at 11:30 a.m. with evidence bags filled with marijuana.
 
Paul Chabot, founder of Inland Valley Drug Free Community Coalition, said G3 Holistic has been blatantly disregarding the will of the community.
 

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Authorities raid Costa Mesa pot clinic

Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Fri, March, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
Three people were arrested in a Costa Mesa marijuana dispensary raid Thursday, according to medical pot advocates.
 
Local police and federal Department of Justice officials would confirm only that a federal search warrant was executed at about 11:30 a.m. at Bayside Patients Assn., 1799 Newport Blvd.
 
Some details of the advocates' accounts could not be independently verified with police.
 
Seized in the raid were about 10 pounds of marijuana and less than $1,000 in cash from a safe that was sawed open on the sidewalk, said Chico resident Weston Mickey, a campaign manager for collectives seeking to craft an initiative that would protect dispensaries from federal intervention.
 
Mickey said about 15 Drug Enforcement Administration agents, along with about six Costa Mesa police and 12 Costa Mesa firefighters, were present when the search warrant was served.
 
Firefighters assisted DEA agents in opening the safe, Mickey said.
 
Images of the broken safe — reportedly opened by the urban search and rescue team — were posted on the Costa Mesa Firefighters Assn.'s Facebook page.
 
"It's a total shame they were raided," Mickey said, adding that raiding medical marijuana dispensaries undermines state medical marijuana laws, which in turns drives people to buy marijuana through illicit means that enrich cartels and the criminal drug market.
 
"We should not be chasing dispensaries around when our schools are underfunded," said Scott Allen, another advocate of medicinal marijuana. "There's better things to spend our money on."
 

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