Friday, August 14, 2009
Kern County Dispensary Sues Sherrifs for Marijuana
Marijuana co-op sues to get pot, money back from sheriff's department
BY STEVE E. SWENSON, Californian staff writer
Thursday, Aug 13 2009 06:22 PM
Last Updated Thursday, Aug 13 2009 06:24 PM
An Oildale medical marijuana cooperative wants its pot and money back
from the Kern County Sheriff's Department.
The department says not so fast. It wants the chance to prosecute the
That's according to a lawsuit filed about six weeks ago against the
county and the sheriff's department.
In April the California Compassionate Co-Op and it's owner, Deborah Lynn
Dahl, opened up shop at 200 North Chester Ave. Dahl had incorporated
with the Secretary of State and received a seller's permit from the
California Board of Equalization.
The sheriff's department showed up three times and was allowed in to
inspect all three times. Then on the 4th visit, the department served a
search warrant and shut the place down.
That was on June 3 when four pounds of marijuana, 299 pill bottles --
each with small amounts of marijuana or hashish -- were seized from the
A few weeks later Dahl, 34, and the business, also known as LMN
Co-Operative Inc., filed suit. Their attorney, Phil Ganong, allege the
business followed all the rules and was improperly shut down.
The suit wants at least $25,000 plus more money for distress to Dahl and
another woman, Michele R. Myers.
Among other complaints, the suit notes that no criminal charges have
been filed against Dahl, the business nor anyone else.
Deputy County Counsel Andrew Thomson said -- through court records--
that among other things the lawsuit is premature.
Thomson said the Kern County District Attorney's staff needs a
reasonable amount of time to file charges.
A sheriff's investigator set up a controlled buy of marijuana from the
business by an anonymous person who was not qualified to be a customer,
a search warrant affidavit said.
That could mean the business was selling marijuana illegally. That issue
has not yet been resolved in court.
The county also alleged that information provided by the business showed
it could make huge profits on the sale of marijuana. Such businesses are
supposed to be non-profit organizations with any excess money going to
The suit says that the county seized about $14,000 from Dahl and the
The closure of the cooperative is the latest in a series of battles
between the sheriff's department and medical marijuana businesses.
The department has shut down several businesses saying that selling
marijuana is a violation of federal law.
The businesses always reply that California law permits the selling of
marijuana to customers who have a recommendation from a doctor to buy
The suit contends the county has deprived people from receiving medical
treatment allowed by and protected by the state of California.
A hearing is set Aug. 18 in Kern County Superior Court on the case.
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