LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Thursday warned medical marijuana dispensary owners in Long Beach to close up shop voluntarily or face being shut down by police.
KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports more than two dozen people have been arrested in raids citywide over the last week.
Long Beach police, along with state and county authorities, have raided seven medical marijuana businesses, including one on Tuesday and two more on Wednesday.
The raids yielded 10 arrests along with the seizure of an undisclosed amount of cash and crops, according to officials.
Police have stepped up enforcement efforts against dispensaries after city officials signaled their goal of ending all operations citywide.
“If you are thinking about or are operating a dispensary against the law to cease that operation or suffer the consequences of enforcement action or possible arrest,” Sgt. Aaron Eaton said.
The raids are not expected to target collectives, which are essentially three or fewer persons who come together to provide medical cannabis without exchanging cash, according to Eaton.
One of the locations raided on Tuesday at 3749 E. Anaheim Street was also cited for numerous fire violations, which Eaton said is not uncommon for marijuana growing operations.
“Oftentimes when there is a marijuana grow inside of a small confined area, the building is not able to sustain the type of ventilation and flow of oxygen through the building, and also oftentimes these places are modified against city regulations,” he said.
The Long Beach City Council voted to ban medical pot dispensaries in February, while allowing the sale of medical marijuana to continue at 18 non-profit collectives.