San Diego DA agrees to drop charges against cannabis attorney

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(This story has been corrected to note that the district attorney’s office agreed to drop the charges – versus the charges having been dropped. The updated story also includes a statement from the district attorney’s office.)  

The San Diego district attorney’s office has agreed to drop felony charges filed last year against cannabis industry attorney Jessica McElfresh.

Her case became a rallying cry for other lawyers in the marijuana sector, who contended she was being persecuted unjustly.

McElfresh declined to comment to Marijuana Business Daily, but the Voice of San Diego reported that she signed an agreement Monday with the D.A.’s office to not violate any laws for the next 12 months.

“The resolution in this case, as represented by the public document filed in open court, properly balances the interests of justice, and provides accountability and fairness,” Steve Walker, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said in a statement published by the Voice of San Diego.

According to the Voice of San Diego, the agreement stipulates that McElfresh will:

  • Plead guilty to violating San Diego’s municipal code.
  • Pay a $250 fine.
  • Enroll in a state bar ethics program and pass a subsequent test.
  • Perform 80 hours of community service.

McElfresh was charged last year in connection with a case against one of her clients, James Slatic, who ran Med-West Distribution, a medical marijuana concentrate business in San Diego.

Here are the basics of the Med-West case:

  • The distribution company was raided by police in January 2016.
  • The San Diego DA claimed McElfresh illegally tried to help Slatic cover up his alleged crimes.
  • Slatic reached a deal with the DA in December, under which city officials returned to Slatic roughly $300,000 that had been seized.
  • He agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanors.