A business run by the former president and current board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association was raided and shut down by police, who claim it has been operating as an illegal dispensary.
The raid targeted Kiona’s Farm’acy in the town of Merced, where dispensaries are banned.
The operation is owned by Lakisha Jenkins, who holds a key role with the state medical marijuana trade organization and served on the board of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Jenkins is also being investigated for possible tax evasion but was not arrested, according to the Merced Sun-Star.
She told the newspaper that she’s well-versed in state and local medical marijuana laws and is sure Kiona’s Farm’acy is compliant. The business does sell medical cannabis to some members but primarily serves as a holistic health center that offers herbs, teas and organic produce, she said.
The California State Board of Equalization reportedly contacted police over suspicions that Jenkins evaded taxes. Jenkins denied the charge, saying Kiona’s Farm’acy is exempt from state and federal taxes because it operates as a non-profit.
Officers took financial records and computers from the business and Jenkins’ house, according to the Sun-Star.
Jenkins received a complaint letter from Stanislaus County in April after its supervisory board voted to file a lawsuit to shut down her business in Oakdale, California, and issue a civil fine. At the time, she said she wasn’t overly concerned about the lawsuit, saying “it’s always an uphill battle” to work in the cannabis industry.
She also operates businesses in the California towns of Tracy and Turlock.
Correction: A previous version of this report incorrectly stated that Lakisha Jenkins is the current president of the California Cannabis Industry Association. She held that position until recently but remains a board member.