At least $10 million in products, close to $100,000 in cash, and five guns were all confiscated by police as a result of raids on illegal marijuana dispensaries in Chula Vista. The police also arrested 15 individuals who were working the illegal operations in addition to one customer. Police Lt. Dan Peak said that the arrests led to six felony and 10 misdemeanor charges.
Residents in the area complained about the illegal operations that were largely located near elementary schools. In 2018, Chula Vista legalized dispensaries but have not issued permits leading to legal cannabis operations. Since 2014, there have been over 50 dispensaries shut down by authorities. Dispensaries that are shut down will often simply reopen after a period of time or relocate their operations, making the initiative to close these businesses down very difficult.
Not only are operations illegal, police argue that they are unsafe for the public. Modifications done to buildings are not approved or inspected and could be a fire hazard or otherwise trap people in an emergency situation. The increase in pressure for recent enforcement measures has upped the ante from civil proceedings to criminal charges. April alone saw six criminal complaints filed. The local police and the City Attorney’s Office with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office will not back down. These officials plan to continue moving forward with criminal enforcement on those locations which are illegally selling marijuana. The police indicated that at any given time, there are numerous illegally-operating dispensaries.
Marijuana Laws in California
Individuals aged 21 years or older are permitted to have a maximum of 28.5 grams of marijuana in their possession or up to eight grams of concentrated cannabis. Consuming marijuana must be done on private property. If you rent an apartment and the landlord has not given consent for smoking, you are not permitted to smoke. Also, any location where tobacco is prohibited, marijuana is also not allowed.
The cultivation of plants is legal. Individuals aged 21 years or older are allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants indoors or outdoors in areas where it is permitted through local regulations. To do business, both a state and local license are necessary. Without a license, selling marijuana is still a crime in the state of California. Licenses are issued by the Bureau of Marijuana Control. Also, selling to a minor is illegal and comes with felony charges.
Other laws say that driving with marijuana can garner you a fine of up to $100. Those who require medical marijuana can obtain it through non-profit medical marijuana dispensaries.
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