California MMJ Oil Producer Cleared of All Wrongdoing

Ranks of women, minority cannabis execs rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.

A Sonoma County medical cannabis oil producer has resumed operations after being raided last week by law enforcement, in a telling sign of the legal marijuana industry’s lessening fear of its questionable legal status.

The co-founder of Care by Design, Dennis Hunter, whose business was hit by local law enforcement last week, was originally charged with operating a meth lab-type operation. Bail was set at $5 million. But after an immense community outcry, the charges were dropped, and bail was reduced to zero, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The MMJ businessman was released within 48 hours of being arrested, and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch even publicly stated her support for medical cannabis, and emphasized that her focus was on whether or not any laws had been broken that would result in public endangerment.

Hunter was released after roughly 150 activists swarmed the Sonoma County Superior Courthouse on Thursday to protest his arrest, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

The incident likely will provide a template for other MMJ businesses that face problems with law enforcement between now and early 2018, when California’s statewide medical cannabis regulations will be in full effect and licensing will lead to further industry stability.