Feds Raid 2 California Cannabis Dispensaries, Order 66 Other MMJ Businesses to Close

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The federal government’s crackdown on medical marijuana in California continues unabated, with agents raiding two dispensaries in Anaheim this week and threatening dozens of others in the area.

Expect more of these actions in the days leading up to the election as President Obama looks to head off accusations that he allowed the medical marijuana industry to grow out of control under his watch.

Once again, the government seems to be defying its official stance that it will make medical marijuana a low priority and only target operations that are located too close to schools, selling cannabis to people without cards, operating near schools or are simply “too big.” Ironically, the feds have targeted hundreds of dispensaries in some areas while leaving scores of dispensaries in other parts of California and in other states with MMJ laws alone. The crackdown is uneven and highly unpredictable, creating a chaotic business climate where uncertainty rules the day.

On Tuesday, agents stormed into a building housing two dispensaries – AAA Wellness Center and Anaheim Patients Association – and left with marijuana and cash.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office also filed three lawsuits involving those two dispensaries and four others in the area, and federal officials sent letters to 66 marijuana centers – and their landlords – in Anaheim and La Habra ordering them to shut down. Dispensaries that received the warning letters have two weeks to wrap up operations.

With these moves, the government showed off the most powerful weapons in its arsenal all at once: Raids, lawsuits and civil forfeiture notices. It has repeatedly used some variation of these methods to force dispensaries to close, bolstering its attack by putting pressure on financial institutions to shut out medical marijuana operations.

This has become one of the top issues for the medical marijuana industry. Several experts have agreed to speak about how businesses can respond to – and hopefully avoid – these threats at the upcoming National Marijuana Business Conference in a panel discussion titled “When the Feds Come Knocking: Handling Raids, Civil Forfeitures & Other Attacks.” MMJ Business Daily, which is hosting the event, is offering a 50% discount on tickets through Aug. 31.

10 comments on “Feds Raid 2 California Cannabis Dispensaries, Order 66 Other MMJ Businesses to Close
  1. James Slatic on

    all these agents and resources for a plant? And Californians voted for it and our state is BROKE!
    The U.S. comprises 5 percent of the world’s population yet uses 60 percent of the world’s drugs. The prohibition on these drugs has been waged for 70 years and has cost $1.5 trillion.
    Prohibition has ruined the lives of millions of peaceful and productive citizens while enriching the most evil people on the planet, the drug cartels. Prohibition has hurt the normal economy while allowing criminal enterprises to control an untaxed drug economy worth an estimated $130 billion dollars. The emphasis on eradication of marijuana/hemp has denied our citizens the most workable and logical solution to a number of growing problems, namely the medicinal, industrial, chemical, and commercial uses of cannabis.

    According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save an annual $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues.

    Thanks to the failed “drug war”, we now have a far higher percentage of our own citizens locked in cages than any other nation on the planet.

    The recently passed dispensary ban passed by the LA City Council is another example of failed policy. There’s only one problem with the council’s foolproof plan, dreamed up by Councilman Jose Huizar and backed by law-and-order City Atty. Carmen Trutanich: It can’t possibly work. Instead of expecting the courts to create the rules under which our medical cannabis system works, our state legislators should pass new regulations that clarify how to function under SB420 and Prop215, and support Federal bills such as HR-6335.

    Reply
  2. Bill on

    Guess I won’t be voting for Obama this time around. I’m a registered Democrat and helped get Obama elected the first time around. With all the hard drugs around our tax dollars are being wasted fighting medical marijuana. Why not go after the crack dealers? Is it a color issue? Obama you need to get your priorities straight. California is already the leader in Meth production. Enough is enough. I say lets not vote for liars even if they seem to be the lesser of two evils.

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  3. Levi on

    There has to be a reason for targeting a business operating above board or are they? Selling out the back door and distributing to minors is not a business strategy for long term success.

    Reply
  4. Bud Green on

    The federal crackdown tends to get attention only when it happens locally, but this stuff has been going on statewide since last October. Harborside Health Center, one of the state’s model dispensaries, is fighting back against federal asset-forfeiture. Watch the patient video at http://saveharborside.org.

    Reply
  5. William A Wigle on

    President Obama, has lost my vote as well. I am also a registered Democrat, and I do not want a man leading my government that is two-faced and a liar. To leave Marijuana on the schedule one list when he knows that the drugs on the schedule two list is both more dangerous and additive, Is, Heroin, crack, and etc.
    Since he has admitted to having used it in high school, and college, he has to know what marijuana is, and what the effects are.
    What he and his administration is doing, to the Marijuana industry is about face to what he promised. I do not trust him any longer to head my government.
    If what I have heard, that over 50% of the voting population, are for legalization. then it stands to reason that “we the people” can vote him out. and replace him with some one that will listen to the voting majority wants. I believe that it is time for a voting revolution.

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  6. ProtectAmendment20 on

    MMJ patients, caregivers, and center owners.

    beware what you wish for…”don’t poke the bear.”

    if anyone is paying attention one would find that A64 has the potential to provide a legislative victory (yea) – and a catastrophic failure for the Colorado MMJ industry, caregivers, patients and Amendment 20 (bummer.)

    recent rulings by State and Federal courts have shown again and again that federal laws trump State. until now, the feds have been busy in Cali destroying what earlier lobbyist, lawyers, and city councils failed to do.

    in the last month, over 800 MMJ dispensaries in Cali have been told to close or face federal and local action.

    in the last 90 days, over 60 MMJ centers in CO have been forced to close because they were within 1000 ft. of schools and therefore violated yet another federal law.

    A64 is designed to provide lobbyist, lawyers and their accountants to rack up a win – but at what cost?

    when i interviewed the head of the MMED, i asked him one question, “what about the FEDS?” the response… “we don’t poke the bear. if we do, the bear will come.”

    A64 may pass, but it may be a short lived high followed by a federal crackdown that could easily destroy Amendment 20, patient’s access, caregiver rights and centers.

    i support decriminalization, however, i would suggest that if you want to protect Amendment 20, you may want to vote ‘no’ on A64.

    how much does it cost for the FEDS or DA John Walsh to shut down any medical marijuana center, grow or caregiver? 44 cents. yep, that’s it.

    with 1 letter and a stamp, the FEDS and
    Colorado’s DA has been able to shut down almost 1,000 small-businesses since Jan. 2012.

    protect Amendment 20. protect caregivers. protect patients.

    VOTE NO on A64

    Reply
  7. kanoy on

    Not a plant a drug using the sick as human shields to avoid jail its one of the best money making scams to hit the market in the 20th century brilliantly planned and expertly marketed using the USA second greatest weakness,drugs, the first being sex, and the millions of drug users to bolster its influence..pitting store front drug houses against neighborhood drug houses for the users $$$

    Reply
  8. You all are missing something on

    “…as President Obama looks to head off accusations that he allowed the medical marijuana industry to grow out of control under his watch.”

    During the last year before a Presidential election, there is a huge sweep (Since the 1970’s) to close down shops/or destroy fields of the marijuana growing in public forests. It is always done with much publicity. Obama wants votes from the independents so now he will show he is indeed controlling drugs.

    After Obama wins a 2nd term, the raids and laws will change back. Maybe even allowing marijuana to become legal in some states.

    Reply

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