Law enforcement snafu creates millions in losses for legal cannabis firm

MJBizCon 2023 tickets are now on sale! Discover the business solutions to elevate your cannabis retail game. Buy your ticket today.

An apparent computer mix-up led law enforcement officers to raid a legal marijuana cultivation operation in Oklahoma, resulting in what’s estimated to be more than $10 million in damages to the facility and crops.

According to Oklahoma City TV station KWTV, a district attorney in Lincoln County authorized the raid on the grow, which is owned by Earth Research Labs.

But after the DA’s office checked the status of the grow operation a second time on Thursday, authorities found that it was legal, meaning the raid had been a mistake.

“Our initial check of the system did not find anything, but a second check this morning on a different database did reveal that this was a licensed facility,” Mark Woodward, of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), told KWTV.

Woodward blamed the mix-up on a database change in July.

Meanwhile, Earth Research Labs hasn’t been told who will cover the millions of dollars in damages to the farm, CEO Rodney Topkov said the TV station.

“The cops just started going right to work. They hired a landscape crew to come in and start chopping stuff down, so right away they went right to work and didn’t let anyone ask questions,” Topkov said. “We need to get what we worked for fixed and get us back to par.”

Woodward told KWTV it’s not clear yet whether the OBN will cover repair work to the farm.