San Diego DA ordered to return $100K to MMJ businessman, family

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San Diego must reimburse a medical marijuana pioneer and his family $100,000 after their personal assets were seized following a raid on an MMJ distribution company, a superior court judge has ruled.

The ruling against District Attorney Bonnie Dumani could have implications for the wider medical cannabis industry, especially with the possibility of a crackdown looming under the Trump administration.

In January 2016, armed drug agents raided the facility of James Slatic, who owned San Diego-based Med-West Distribution, a wholesale distributor of CO2-extracted medical marijuana products.

The agents seized Slatic’s total inventory, business records and more than $324,000 in cash.

The District Attorney’s office then froze the accounts of Slatic, his wife and his two stepdaughters, totaling $100,693.85, before formally seizing the money a few months later – even though no one was charged with any wrongdoing.

Slatic has been fighting since then to have his and his family’s assets returned.

The judge in the case ordered Dumanis to return the $100,693.85, nearly six weeks after Slatic’s lawyers argued that their client’s assets should be returned because the money was not part of Med-West Distribution, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“It is about time,” Slatic said in a news release issued by the law firm representing him. “We did nothing wrong.”

In another case last year in California, police seized and destroyed some $10 million worth of marijuana during a raid in Calaveras County.