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By Kim Harris
Managing Editor 

UPDATED: Cops converge on unlicensed cannabis business in Temecula for early morning raid

Warrants served on 9 others

 

Last updated 1/31/2019 at 5:47pm

Shane Gibson photo

Deputies pass by a nearby business prior to their raid on a Temecula marijuana dispensary by the Cannabis Regulation Task Force Thursday, Jan. 31.

Update: Jan. 31, 5:06 p.m.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's and the Temecula Police departments converged upon a Temecula business Thursday, Jan. 31, for an early morning raid.

According to a press release from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, 10 businesses, including the one in Temecula, were served search warrants following a monthslong investigation.

“Today’s operation comes after several months of investigation into alleged illegal operations at these 10 dispensaries,” Riverside County District Attorney Spokesman John Hall said.

The Temecula marijuana dispensary raided – Cannabis Castle, at 27645 Jefferson Ave. – claimed to be Prop 64 compliant and offers medical marijuana to those age 18 and over with a doctor's recommendation and valid identification, as well as recreational marijuana to those 21 and older.

“None of these locations are licensed to sell cannabis or cannabis products,” Hall said.

Other area locations included in the raids were Green Garage, 19065 Grand Ave. in Lake Elsinore; Hidden Gem, 125 E. Stetson Ave., Herbs and Essential Oils, 207 E. Mayberry Ave.; Hemet Healing, 207 E. Florida Ave.; and Valley Ice Cream, 125 N. Tahquitz Ave., all in Hemet.

The Green Empire, 72911 Ramon Road in Thousand Palms; Supreme Cannabis Club, 4186 Ramsey St. in Banning; and Reefer Shop, 6058 Mission Blvd. and The Mission Greens, 9646 Mission Blvd., both in Jurupa Valley were also served warrants.

Medical marijuana dispensaries, commercial marijuana storefronts, and other marijuana businesses are not allowed in Temecula, which has an ordinance in place prohibiting all commercial cannabis activity within the city.

Temecula Ordinance No. 17-02 was approved in May 2017 and prohibits all commercial cannabis activity within the city including cultivating, possessing, manufacturing, distributing, storing, testing and selling cannabis and cannabis products, whether for profit or not.

“As of 4:30 p.m., Jan. 31, 2019, approximately 90 pounds of finished cannabis product and a large amount of cannabis edibles had been seized from eight of the 10 locations,” Hall said. “There were two arrests – one felony arrest for possession of a stolen handgun and one misdemeanor warrant arrest for driving on a suspended license.”

Final numbers are expected Friday, Feb. 1.

The purpose of the Cannabis Regulation Task Force is to protect properly licensed legal cannabis businesses and enforce regulatory requirements which protect the environment and consumers.

The aim of the task force is not to shut down legally operating facilities, but rather to ensure fair business practices and keep criminal activity out of the legal cannabis industry and out of communities. When dispensaries operate without following the law or regulations, their unfair business practices impact those dispensaries which are obeying the law. Illegal or unlicensed dispensaries also may be providing customers with untested and potentially harmful products.

The Cannabis Regulation Task Force will continue its investigations into all unlicensed and illegal dispensaries in Riverside County.

Agencies currently on the task force include the DA’s Bureau of Investigation, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Hemet Police Department, and the Riverside Police Department.

Also assisting in the operation were personnel from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Riverside County Probation Department; and the Cathedral City, Corona, Indio, and Palm Springs police departments.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Original Story:

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's and the Temecula Police departments converged upon a Temecula business Thursday, Jan. 31, for an early morning raid.

Police said the business, Cannabis Castle, is a marijuana dispensary, and according to Weed Maps services Temecula and the surrounding communities.

"Our countywide Cannabis Regulation Task Force is conducting an operation in several locations including Temecula," Riverside County District Attorney Spokesman John Hall said, adding that he would share more information when it became available to him.

Shane Gibson photo

A Temecula marijuana dispensary was raided by the Cannabis Regulation Task Force Thursday, Jan. 31.

The store, located on Jefferson Avenue, claims to be Prop 64 compliant and offers medical marijuana to those age 18 and over with a doctor's recommendation and valid identification, as well as recreational marijuana to those 21 and older.

Medical marijuana dispensaries, commercial marijuana storefronts and other marijuana businesses are not allowed in Temecula which has an ordinance in place prohibiting all commercial cannabis activity within the city.

Temecula Ordinance No. 17-02, was approved in May 2017 and prohibits all commercial cannabis activity within the city including cultivating, possessing, manufacturing, distributing, storing, testing and selling cannabis and cannabis products, whether for profit or not.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

 
 

Reader Comments
(2)

tomsuttle writes:

oops... re/last post: that should have been 'al qaeda'

tomsuttle writes:

I'm not a fan of legalized pot. But... These days, this seems pretty heavy handed for what amounts to failure to have a business license. Or, maybe there's more to the story? Like... Did they think an al queida operative was in the building? If so, that would explain it.

 
 
 

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