Authorities in the California town of Needles raided four dispensaries in recent days, accusing the owners of being full-time residents of Arizona and selling cannabis to out-of-state visitors.
Detectives – who also served search warrants at several residences in the area – hauled away hundreds of pounds of marijuana and a “large quantity” of edibles in the sting, though no one was arrested.
Raids were par for the course in the medical marijuana industry for years. But they began to taper off in 2013, with the exception of some in Colorado last November.
In most cases, authorities do not disclose the exact reasons behind the raids.
In California, however, officials did offer up an explanation. The dispensaries allegedly sold cannabis to customers who showed California IDs with an address in the state, “when they in fact lived in Arizona.” Authorities also claimed the owners of some of these dispensaries made false claims of residency and therefore are not authorized to operate an MMJ business in the state.
The first claim is somewhat questionable. Requiring owners to thoroughly vet every ID to ensure it’s legit is unreasonable, though perhaps these were obviously fake.
The other claim is more understandable. If it’s true that the owners are not California residents, then the authorities should be applauded for ridding the industry of some bad players.