Bad times for pot shops in Southern California. Dispensary operators in Long Beach were recently convicted for … selling weed. L.A. City Hall's move to ban them outright is gaining momentum. And today the U.S. Attorney's Office announced that it's going to take everything that belongs to targeted dispensaries in Orange and L.A. counties.
According to a statement, the feds today filed “asset forfeiture” lawsuits against …
… three marijuana stores currently operating at 440 Fair Drive, where the owner of the building has been “cited numerous times by Costa Mesa officials for allowing the operation of marijuana dispensaries,” according to the lawsuit;
American Collective, a marijuana store allegedly operated by a man with a 2003 state court conviction for marijuana sales that was one of two Costa Mesa stores and related locations where federal and state agents yesterday executed search warrants that led to the of two separate marijuana grows, each with more than 500 marijuana plants; and
Otherside Farms, whose operator told Costa Mesa Code Enforcement personnel that he intended “to make so much money” at the location that he was going to give the city of Costa Mesa a “donation” of up to $500,000 every year that would help the city stave off layoffs.
The government also targeted Alternative Medicinal Cannabis Collective (AMCC) in an unincorporated part of Covina last week with a similar suit.
It has also sent letters to the operators or land owners connected to “nearly three dozen” shops in Costa Mesa, one in Newport Beach, and 17 in unincorporated Walnut, La Puente, Murrieta and Lake Elsinore warning them to “to take steps to discontinue the sale and distribution of marijuana at the stores” or face the wrath of federal enforcement.
All the moves, the U.S. Attorney's Office says, are part of a recent U.S. crackdown on dispensaries in California.
The effort is bringing one L.A. dispensary, NoHo Caregivers, to court May 22. And it has seen three other asset forfeiture suits from last year.
The feds boast that …
… dozens of letters sent to those associated with marijuana stores in 13 Southland cities have resulted in nearly all of the stores being closed, with the remainder currently being the subject of eviction proceedings.