Federal prosecutors seize four more pot-shop buildings
January 19, 2012
As part of a continuing crack down on California’s medical marijuana dispensaries, federal prosecutors filed forfeiture actions against the owners of four properties housing marijuana storefronts In Los Angeles and Orange counties on Wednesday, according to a press release.
U.S. prosecutors announced in October that they’re using property seizures and criminal charges to crack down on California’s medical marijuana dispensary owners and operators.
On Wednesday, prosecutors also filed three asset forfeiture complaints against buildings in Costa Mesa where marijuana stores are operating and sent warning letters to nearly two dozen pot shops also operating in Costa Mesa.
In addition, federal attorneys from the Central District of California sent warning letters to property owners and operators associated with marijuana stores in unincorporated Walnut, La Puente, Murrieta and Lake Elsinore, where a total of 17 stores are operating. The letters warned that the stores are operating in violation of federal law and that the owners of the properties and businesses have 15 days to take steps to stop the sale and distribution of marijuana at the stores or face criminal actions and/or property seizures.
“It is important to note that for-profit, commercial marijuana operations are illegal not only under federal law, but also under California law,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “While California law permits collective cultivation of marijuana in limited circumstances, it does not allow commercial distribution through the store-front model we see across California.”