The medical marijuana industry has received a lot of publicity lately about raids that have been taking place all over as it is much more convenient for people to buy weed online or offline for different medical purposes. Here in California and elsewhere it seems that every city has passed an ordinance outlawing dispensaries in their town and it seems that every week there is another article about a raid that has taken place where someone has been arrested. The question is, are there really people going to jail and getting in trouble for operating a medical marijuana dispensary or commercial grow when they’re busted by the feds?
The answer NO! Well, technically the answer really is yes but I have to clarify here. In the general sense of the publicity that has been on the news and in the papers regarding the overall crackdown by the “feds” and the letters that have been sent out to landlords and dispensary owners it is extremely rare that anyone in these cases actually gets in any sort of trouble or actually even gets arrested. In any industry, you will always have a few bad apples that are not doing the right things and the same goes for this one. However, the vast majority of the time if a raid has been conducted on a dispensary or a commercial grow no one is arrested and no criminal charges are ever filed.
Yes, this past year has been very crazy and there have been a lot of high profile cases in the news of dispensaries like Harborside that have been targeted by the IRS and that have received letters and visits by federal authorities asking them to close and confiscating their medicine but the truth is Harborside had some very questionable accounting procedures it was doing and as far as the raid goes both they and Oaksterdam which was also “raided” can and will turn around and reopen with no problems.
I’ve had four clients recently that have received letters from the Department Of Justice that have actually been followed up by raids and nobody has been arrested. In addition, in every case, these clients have reopened with no problems. Recently G3 was raided by the DOJ which was anywhere from the second to the fourth time where 25 pounds of medicine was confiscated and it was reopened the same day and continues to operate with no problems.
When we first received our letter we were a bit worried. It was my first time going through something like this and none of our clients had been through this before either. However, now that some time has gone by I can say that the right thing to do in this situation is to make sure you’re doing everything right and forge ahead.
There have been two Appeals Court decisions recently that have gone fully in our favor and until the state Supreme Court makes their rulings on these issues which should come sometime over the next year and a half or so, the market is wide open and only a judge can force you to close your doors or tell you to stop doing what you’re doing.
Yes, it’s not fun to have your meds taken away and your income but so far federal authorities have not come back day after day repeating the same actions and if you don’t keep more then a day or two’s worth of meds and money on-site, you should be fine. It’s a cost of doing business and it’s just something you have to deal with.
No one we know of has gotten into any serious trouble so far and we’ve heard of nothing of anyone being prosecuted with federal charges. The only time this has happened is when there have been other factors involved like people dealing in drugs, shipping bud out of state or to other clubs, or having guns at these locations which may sound insane and unbelievable but some people have done it. The ones that are following the rules and doing everything by the book are doing fine and actually have nothing to worry about, this includes landlords also.