California sues Nipomo cannabis processing company

December 18, 2019


The California Department of Food and Agriculture filed a lawsuit last week against a Nipomo marijuana processing and storage company for operating without a state license. The state is seeking fines and permission to destroy cannabis products. [Cal Coast Times]

In March, state investigators raided Lowell Farms at 887 Mesa Road, the former Clearwater Nursery. Regulators seized 1,387 pounds of loose flower buds, 7,162 jars of flower buds, 7,772 rolled packaged joints, 28 pounds of loose rolled joints, 125 pounds of cannabis kief and 60 pounds of cannabis shake.

During the raid, defendant Brett Myers Vapnek admitted the company had been operating without a license from Dec. 2018 through March 13, 2019, according to the lawsuit. Vapnek also runs Nipomo Ag, a cannabis cultivation facility.

State laws allow penalties of up to three times the cost of a state license for every day a company operates without a permit. The annual processor license fee is $9,370.

The state is asking the court to order the defendants — Vapnek, David Elias, Lowell Farms, and The Hacienda Company — to pay civil penalties, to pay for the cost of destroying the cannabis products, and to pay court costs.

“By engaging in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity, defendants placed unregulated cannabis into the cannabis market, thereby causing economic harm to California’s legal commercial cannabis industry and supporting the illegal cannabis market,” according to the lawsuit. “Defendants’ distribution and sale of illegal products that are potentially untested … create grave public health and safety risks to Californians.

“Moreover, by engaging in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity, defendants deprived the CDFA of licensing fees and tax revenue.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I wish Lowell Farms would grow a little bit of tabacky so I could scoop up some cheap cigarettes. I HATE paying $8 a pack! I guess California wants a new class of smoker to hate on.

Free men still smoke.

Yeah, but it’s OK. The County Board of Supervisors lets them continue, no matter.

Sad that now the county won’t even police its own crooks, instead, the State has to step in to protect us.

Apparently the word for cannabis should be Bloomshine. During the Moonshine days, avoiding the revenuers morphed into NASCAR. The Bloomshine may inspire more Farside cartoons of people hanging out with the cattle and doing nothing. Ya I like that parallel and a perfect new word. “Bloomshine”. My Copywrite by CCN.

{^) Good one. The difference is that Moonshine required skill and special equipment to produce, always — not just anybody could produce booze. However, ANYONE can grow marijuana just about anywhere with nothing but a pot, soil, light/sun, and water.

Pot — potent strong pot even — can grow wild in a vacant lot with zero assistance. Pot requires ZERO modification to grow, distribute, OR consume. There is actually ZERO comparison between marijuana and any legal or illegal alcoholic beverage or processed non-lab-produced “natural” drugs such as cocaine or heroin. As for lab-produced drugs such as LSD, meth, etc. — THAT is where the real danger is and always has been.

Marijuana is a plant that is EASIER to grow than geraniums or garden tomatoes. To outlaw it is pure VANITY on the part of bossy holier-than-thou self-appointed nannies all too ready to force themselves upon you as your master “for your own good” because they wrongly presume they’re superior, when in reality they are only arrogant.

Sorry, but cannabis is not that easy to grow well. Hemp farmers are having a terrible time because it is so hard to grow compared to other crops and most that entered the industry lost money on the crop this year because they were so unprepared for how difficult it is to grow it well.

Sorry, but growing ANY plant in crops on a large scale for profit … is a whole ‘nother talk show from growing ANY plant for personal enjoyment or consumption in a private at-home garden setting, Big Brother notwithstanding.

In the ’90s there was more high-quality weed growing in San Fernando Valley yards than you can imagine. When I saw this, it surprised the heck out of me, new to the “city.”

Yes this is about money ….In my half a century on this planet I have not ever met one life long marijuana consumer that their brains were severely effected in a negative way …either they are psycotic or way out there in outer space and almost all are dependent on either consecutive lawsuit settlements or workers comp i.e. disability or social security payouts starting in their early 30s .So Unfortunatley our govt has decided that tax dollars are better than a society filled with folks with mental disorders and the voters that voted it in decided they wanted to relive their high school and college years without fear of arrest .I would say most will never ever buy marijuana at a legal store due to double to quadruple prices

How do you know that you have “never met one life-long marijuana consumer” who seemed okay?

Do you ASK the “normal” folks you know just to make sure? And do you actually expect them to answer seriously a question that is none of your business? Really?

Because over the decades as I’ve gotten older, I have been quite surprised by many of the (now middle-aged & older) pot smokers who were so discreet I never knew or suspected back when and wouldn’t now except for being in on their confidence.

Discretion is the better part of valor where pot is concerned because of people, usually transplants from other parts of the US with no roots or background in California or the West, who have no clue and cannot handle the truth that banning a simple plant “for our own protection” that will easily seed wild in vacant lots and is easier to grow than tomatoes, is a VANITY and an exceedingly stupid one at that. Not to mention an extortion racket for government and self-appointed bossy playground monitors who want to tell others how to live.

In reference to knowing if they are life long users of weed …A: they state they hate stoners or B: People I’ve known who don’t hide anything in their lives .I closed one of my norcal businesses because I was tired of dealing with the stoners if I was outside I could smell them 50 feet away .If they showed for their appointments they were 5 to 7 hours late but thought it wasn’t a problem .I first tried weed in junior high in the early 80s I quit when I was 18 time to get serious and support my girlfriend and daughter .Can’t be stoned and run my business I opened at 19 and retired from at 51 with no workers comp or disability govt aid etc

By your own admission then you have zero idea at all whether a “normal” person in your life has been a lifelong user of weed. You only know of “normal” folks who claim NOT to use it; smart normal folks will remain mum, vague, and/or discreet and leave you in the dark with your assumptions correct or mistaken.

As for people you’ve known “who don’t hide anything in their lives,” I have never once met such an individual, not EVER not ONCE.

And I’ll bet you haven’t either. :^)

What a joke. This is about one thing and one thing only. Money.