Pot Shop Owner Pleads Not Guilty For Possession, Sale of Medical Marijuana
The owner of a Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensary pleaded not guilty Monday after he was charged with 24 drug-related felony counts by the District Attorney's office following an August raid of what authorities called an "illegal drug-dealing operation."
Jeffrey Keith Joseph, 41, owner of Organica Inc in the city's Del Rey neighborhood, was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $520,000 bail. The D.A.'s office charged him with 13 counts of sale or transportation of marijuana, five counts of possession of the drug for sale, five counts of money laundering, and one count of possession of pot for sale.
The charges stemmed from a warrant search in August at Organica in which officers claimed to have seized 80 kilograms of marijuana, 450 plants, 12 kilograms of hash oil and 125 kilograms of edible pot products, according to the D.A.'s office.
"A financial investigation revealed that Organica's average monthly income was $400,000.," stated D.A.'s spokeswoman Shiara Dávila-Morales.
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While medical marijuana is legal in California, District Attorney Steve Cooley, Attorney General Jerry Brown and the Los Angeles City Council have all stated that it must be distributed on a nonprofit basis.
Organic was also one of 21 city dispensaries targeted by the Los Angeles City Attorney's office last week for abatement of pot-selling operations. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich also believes that state medical marijuana law only allows for nonprofit collectives to distribute pot to the seriously ill.
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