Marijuana Dispensary Crackdown by Feds in Echo Park, Westlake, Long Beach
Federal authorities today moved to shut down marijuana dispensaries in Echo Park, Westlake, south L.A., the harbor area, Long Beach, Lancaster and Pearblossom.
Not one of the targeted dispensaries. Photo by Susan Slade Photography for LA Weekly.
The action so far involves mainly warning letters to most of the 103 storefronts targeted, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
While weed retailing might still be legal in the city of L.A. and other California communities, the federal government still sees cannabis as a top outlaw drug.
The targeted 71 dispensaries in the city of L.A. involved all remaining known shops in the LAPD's Rampart, Newton and Harbor divisions, feds said.
The warnings essentially state that its time to shut down or face federal asset forfeiture lawsuits.
In fact, two targeted dispensaries in Long Beach were facing that extra step, according to the office: The Healing Tree Holistic Association at 3721 East Anaheim Street, and the Naples Wellness Center at 5750 East Second Street.
Both have been the subject of past warnings and raids, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
An additional 26 stores in Long Beach and four in the Antelope Valley were told to close, according to a federal statement.
So, even as the voters of L.A. have decided to regulate the city pot shop scene, reducing the stores from 1,000 or so to less than 135, the feds are stepping in to do their own tree trimming?
Says the U.S. Attorney's Office:
Including today's efforts in Long Beach, Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley, federal enforcement actions - asset forfeiture lawsuits, warning letters and related activity - have now targeted more than 625 illegal marijuana businesses in the Central District of California. The majority of those businesses previously targeted are now closed, are the subject of eviction proceedings by landlords, or have been the subject of additional federal enforcement actions.