The federal Drug Enforcement Agency has raided several medical marijuana businesses in San Diego over the past week, highlighting the Obama administration’s efforts to conduct a sustained crackdown on California pot shops.
In the latest series of marijuana raids, agents served warrants at four San Diego dispensaries, forcing the MMJ businesses to shut down and confiscating marijuana plants as well as equipment. The latest raid occurred on Tuesday, when law enforcement officials targeted Green Tree Solutions Pot Dispensary.
The raided pot dispensaries – which include Golden West, California’s Best Meds and San Diego Wellness – received notices from U.S. attorneys last fall threatening criminal prosecution if the businesses didn’t shut down within 45 days. The federal government sent letters to a total of 16 San Diego pot shops.
The recent raids indicate that the crackdown is much more than a dog-and-pony-show meant to appease MMJ opponents who think the MMJ industry has gotten out of hand. Some observers initially felt that the Obama administration would target a particular area to “send a message” to the industry but ultimately back off in the future. However, the federal government has conducted multiple raids in individual cities, underscoring its commitment to policing the pot industry on an ongoing basis.
A special agent even told NBC San Diego that the government “will eventually close every single” dispensary in San Diego county.
Pot shops in Colorado should be particularly concerned about the events unfolding in San Diego and other areas of California. The federal government recently sent warning letters to nearly two dozen Colorado dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools, threatening to seize their assets if they don’t shut down or relocate. If the government’s actions in California are any indication, that could only be the first step in a sustained crackdown.
To get an idea of what a raid looks like, check out this clip on YouTube of the one involving California’s Best Meds.