Ask dispensary owners to name their biggest fear, and you’ll often get a similar response: A raid by law enforcement officials.
If your business is on the up and up, you can likely avoid such a fate. But for owners who toe the line when it comes to state regulations, a raid is a very real possibility.
In most cases, the businesses are forced to close immediately, never to open again. But a raid doesn’t necessarily have to spell the end.
Case in point: Buds 4 Life, a dispensary in Fresno, Calif. The medical marijuana center was raided by the local sheriff’s office in late spring along with four other dispensaries, with law enforcement officials saying the businesses sold drugs for a profit (all of California’s MMCs must technically be nonprofits).
Now, four months later, Buds 4 Life is back in business, with a twist: It no longer directly sells marijuana at its storefront location, focusing instead on products you can find in many head shops (t-shirts, rolling papers, ash trays, etc).
But it does still deliver medical pot and edibles to patients, potentially easing neighbors’ concerns about unwanted “clients” in the area. However, one report says the business is offering drive-up service, so those seedy characters are still visiting the neighborhood.