Cannabis legalization isn’t enough to protect someone from being arrested on marijuana criminal charges. Being one of the trailblazing marijuana business owners in the state isn’t even necessarily enough. Just ask the woman who opened Ventura County’s first legal medical marijuana dispensary. She has spent the last year and a half facing down charges for perjury, possessing and transporting marijuana, and maintaining a place to sell the drug. These charges, however, were recently dropped, freeing her to focus on her business at last.
The woman is also president of a collective in Ojai, Calif. The property of the collective and her own home in Ventura were raided in November 2016, just before Proposition 64 passed on the ballot. She lost many personal possessions in addition to property of the collective. At the time, the collective was operating under the guidelines of Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which regulated use and sales of medical marijuana in the state, but investigators said she was in violation of those rules, according to a Ventura County Star article.As our Los Angeles marijuana criminal defense attorneys can explain, collectives are allowed to grow limited amounts of marijuana and share among members of the group, including deliveries to those members. They could not share outside the group, and they should only charge as much as necessary to cover the costs of growing marijuana, but not enough to turn a profit. Any suspicion of violating these rules could draw the attention of officials, as in the case at hand. The collective president said she aimed for compliance at all times and alleged she made every effort to work with county and city officials. She even alleged she met with one official just a couple months before the raid, who responded to her questions by brushing off her concerns until November, pointing to the Prop 64 vote and the ways it could change how matters are handled. This made it more surprising for her when she was raided before the vote.
Charges were dropped, however, because prosecutors could not prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. She never let the case drag her down too much. About a year after the raid, while still waiting for her fate, was when she opened the first medical cannabis dispensary in the county.
No doubt this business owner is relieved to be moving on with her life. But situations like this are where the guidance of skilled marijuana attorneys can really make all the difference. Our law firm offers consultations for medical marijuana collectives, offering advice on how to become established in a way that remains in compliance with state and local laws. Instead of trying to interpret the law on your own, our experienced team will explain all the laws that apply to your current situation and location. There is no need to attempt to understand the motives of local officials who might not have your best interest at heart. Instead, rely on a tested legal team to set your course for success. Remember, though, if things do go south, our criminal defense lawyers will be there to protect your rights and build the best case possible.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
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More Blog Entries:
California Authorities Caught on Hidden Camera During Cannabis Collective Raid, June 30, 2015, Cannabis Law Group