February 5, 2014
Medical Marijuana In Needles, California
Four medical marijuana dispensaries raided in Needles. The article doesn't mention any federal agencies involved, but the "Mojave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team" might have a federal agent or two included for all I know. The reason for the raids was that people from Arizona (it's always the Arizonans who have to rain on our parade) were coming in with fake California IDs and acquiring medicine.
On top of that some of the staff were full-time Arizona residents.
So, the places were raided and "investigators confiscated about 95 pounds of processed marijuana; more than 2,500 grams of Butane Honey Oil Wax, also known as BHO Wax; edible marijuana products; U.S. currency; and several firearms." The next day they raided two more dispensaries and "Detectives seized 350 pounds of processed marijuana and a large quantity of edible marijuana products, according to [Jodi Miller, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office]." No one was arrested.
Those with retail liquor experience are invited to correct my misconceptions, but I think if a liquor store is caught selling alcohol to kids with fake IDs the punishment might include fines, suspending the license for a bit, or pulling the license entirely. But does the state seize the inventory of liquor when they do that? Plus the store's cash, plus the shotgun under the counter? I don't think so, but somebody may correct me. I think the legal inventory belongs to somebody and it's not the state's to seize.
I tried to identify these four dispensaries, but Weedmaps lists nothing at all for Needles, except delivery service. Wheresweed lists two.
I also tried to find the sections of the city code of Needles that pertain to marijuana, but the city doesn't have its code online. But, here's a news article from 2011 about their Planning Commission approving an ordinance that would allow two dispensaries. And in November 2012 the voters approved a 10% city tax on medical marijuana.
Needles just lost one of the few retail draws to bring in people from Arizona. God knows they don't visit Needles to buy gasoline. Your pointed comments regarding the confiscations are right on the mark.
Posted by: Pear Grower at Feb 6, 2014 9:13:29 AM