Law enforcement agents in the Los Angeles area continue to crack down on unlicensed cannabis retailers this week, with the Los Angeles Police Department serving one warrant at an illegal shop in Mission Hills on Tuesday and sheriff’s deputies raiding 13 shops in East L.A.
The crackdown should benefit licensed operators that argue they lose business to black-market businesses, which undercut them on price.
In the Mission Hills case, LAPD officers arrested eight people at what the agency said was an illegal marijuana shop located in the 15400 block of Devonshire Street and confiscated “several items of evidence and contraband,” according to TV station NBC4 Los Angeles.
In East L.A., sheriff’s deputies spent months on their investigation before serving 13 warrants at different unlicensed marijuana dispensaries. Deputies arrested 22 people and seized 3,000 pounds of cannabis flower and edibles, $10,000 in cash and three loaded guns.
The sheriff’s department also noted there are no licensed MJ retailers in unincorporated East Los Angeles, TV station KABC reported.
These actions all come on the heels of an announcement by L.A. City Attorney Mike Feurer that 515 people are facing misdemeanor charges related to unlicensed commercial cannabis activity in the city in connection with 105 “illegal marijuana businesses.”
Southern California for years has been struggling to crack down on its illicit MJ market, which many insiders often refer to as an ongoing game of “Whac-a-Mole” because in many instances operators will be raided and shut down but then relocate to a different storefront and reopen.