Law enforcement raids for minor perceived infractions of plant count, THC content, or financial dealings are commonplace in the limbo of California’s cannabis industry. And because regulations for the financial and legal areas in the current state of this industry are still in such a gray area, this gives law enforcement even more freedom to raid cannabis collectives, co-ops, growers and patients’ homes and businesses.
Recently, a company in San Diego, California, Med-West, was victim of a major raid. James Slatic, CEO of Med-West, captured the entire unfair raid on camera, and is now running an Indiegogo campaign to try and put together a substantial legal defense.
Security cameras show that the police who conducted the raid high-fived each other afterwards, and held employees to the floor with guns pointed to their heads while conducting their search and seize. The raid took place January 28 at 7:30AM, and since then, Slatic’s business and personal life have been in ruins, and most of his employees have been put out of work. He has since been attempting to fight back within the system, and try to find the justice in the midst of the stormy waters of the industry.
It is not yet clear if the raid actually did turn up any illegal product or money, but nearly irreparable damage was done to Slatic’s business. In addition to the initial seizure, the law also froze the businesses account, as well as Slatic and his family’s personal accounts. This includes his wife’s bank account, and those of his teenage daughters. Because of this rash seizure, his college and high school age daughters, who are in no way involved with cannabis—and his wife, who works for the Veterans Administration—have lost access to any funds.
In addition to running Med-West, Slatic Slatic was a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and a founding board member of the California Cannabis Industry and Nevada Cannabis Industry Associations. He currently sits on the board for Marijuana Policy Project, and participates in California NORML and Drug Policy Alliance events and meetings. An upstanding business owner is being targeted due to the unstable legal nature of the cannabis industry in California.
Obviously there are many issues and problems with California’s muddy waters with regards to cannabis regulations and access. With the new Cannabis Chief, Lori Ajax starting the position and bringing attention and awareness to the very clear issues on hand, we can only hope that awful and illegal raids like this will not happen in the future. This particular raid, however, has done irreversible damage to more than a few lives and jobs, but there is hope on the horizon—and we will be first on the scene. Stay tuned for updates on this case.