Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/09/2013 01:39:03 PM PDT
Years of levying but not collecting fines on medical marijuana dispensaries and fielding impatient calls from neighbors upset the shops stay open are rapidly ending now that the California Supreme Court says cities may ban them, San Bernardino officials say.
The message was taken seriously by at least 18 of the 33 dispensaries in the city, who have stopped operating since they were ordered to close Tuesday – the day after the court’s ruling – according to City Attorney James F. Penman.
The owners of an unnamed dispensary on the 3200 block of E Street that stayed open realized the seriousness Thursday. It was the first target of a series of planned raids by police, city attorney investigators, code enforcement and fire employees working together.
Officials seized 80 plants, 30 pounds of marijuana – with an estimated value of $3,000 per pound – and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip, said City Attorney James F. Penman.
A second dispensary authorities went to Thursday, in the 3900 block of Sierra Way, Penman said was on its way out.
“The second one we hit was open yesterday, but closed today,” Penman said, adding that workers were removing the ATM and turning away potential customers when authorities arrived. “That’s what we hope to see, is empty businesses.”
Authorities raided two locations before being called off because of an officer-involved shooting on Hospitality Lane.
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