Stephanie Smith is the self-proclaimed largest cannabis landlord in California and has become a major advocate for the industry.

By Joe Nelson | jnelson@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: February 21, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Updated: February 23, 2019 at 2:06 am

  • The wealthy real estate developer and mother of five was booked on suspicion of possessing drugs for sale

A real estate developer who touts herself as “California’s cannabis landlord” was arrested during a raid by San Bernardino police at her Pacific Palisades home, authorities confirmed Thursday.

Stephanie Smith, 44, was taken into custody at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and booked into the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, where she was being held on $30,000 bail. She was booked on suspicion of possession for sales of a controlled substance, San Bernardino Police Department spokeswoman Sadie Albers said.

Smith is scheduled for arraignment Friday, Feb. 22, in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to online booking records.

Albers confirmed that about $200,000 in cash was seized from Smith’s home in the 400 block of Puerto del Mar, along with a large stash of prescription Norco and oxycodone pills, during the raid.

Smith’s arrest was preceded by a Feb. 6 police raid at a building owned by her at 444 N. H St. in San Bernardino, where more than 2,600 pounds of marijuana was seized, Albers said.

The raid and arrest culminated a more than 14-month investigation by San Bernardino police into Smith’s alleged illegal marijuana cultivation enterprises in San Bernardino.

Smith, an ambitious and wealthy real estate developer, entrepreneur, and mother of five, has denied being a “drug lord,” insisting she is merely a landlord who leases her properties to cultivators and has nothing to do with their marijuana-growing enterprises. She has, however, acknowledged being an advocate for the commercial sale of legalized marijuana, and has led efforts to place legalization measures on several city ballots and is actively suing several cities,including Colton, over their cannabis policies.

In December 2017, San Bernardino police raided four buildings in the city owned by Smith, including a former telephone company building, seizing more than 4 1/2 tons of marijuana. They also raided Smith’s home, but she was not arrested or charged with any crime at the time.

To read expanded article, click here.