Washington state busts unlicensed marijuana retailers in stings

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Washington state’s marijuana regulator seized cannabis from two unlicensed businesses after undercover investigations and is recommending prosecutors pursue felony charges in both cases.

Undercover officers of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) bought illicit cannabis from Caveman Medicine in Tacoma on Aug. 10, the agency said in a news release.

The regulator and local police searched the business, seizing roughly 50 pounds of marijuana products “including a large quantity of cannabis concentrates and cannabis-infused edible products being offered for sale,” according to the release.

“Many of the cannabis-infused products would have been illegal to sell in the regulated marketplace, including products exceeding THC serving size limits and products that are especially appealing to children. ”

The retailer also had a smoking lounge that was “an illegal cannabis club,” the LCB said.

The investigation “began in response to a public complaint of illegal cannabis sales.”

The LCB said it was recommending felony charges to the local prosecutor.

Another LCB operation, also on Aug. 10, targeted an unlicensed business called Medicine Creek Territory in Lacey.

The investigation also included undercover LCB officers buying illegal marijuana before executing a search warrant.

“The Nisqually Tribe communicated concerns about the unlicensed store which prompted the investigation,” the LCB noted in a release.

Though Medicine Creek Territory claimed “to have tribal affiliation,” the regulator said that “the store (is) not affiliated with the Nisqually Tribe” and was located near a tribal school.

The LCB said its officers seized more than “8,000 grams of cannabis flower, nearly 900 concentrate products, and over 200 packages of cannabis-infused products.”

The regulator, which also seized three firearms and some cash, is recommending felony charges in this case.

Washington joins fellow West Coast states California and Oregon in cracking down on illegal cannabis operations that are hurting legal marijuana businesses.