Federal prosecutors warn South Shore cannabis clubs
Three medical marijuana dispensaries in South Lake Tahoe are among the dozens of California cannabis clubs whose landlords have been sent letters from federal prosecutors warning of possible property seizure and criminal charges.
The letters went out late last year and warn property owners that the operations within their buildings are out of compliance with federal law, said Lauren Horwood, spokeswoman for the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Sacramento. If the use is not brought into compliance with federal law, the buildings could be seized and the property owners could face criminal charges, Horwood said.
The letters advise the property owners to seek an attorney and contact the district attorney’s office. Horwood said the office has received responses to the letters, but declined to comment further.
Tahoe Wellness Collective owner Cody Bass said he was told about the letter earlier this year and wasn’t “super worried,” saying they did not contain 45-day cease-and-desist warnings included in some of the letters received by other dispensaries in the state. He said the collective will continue providing medical marijuana to patients under California law like it has for the past three years.
“It’s still exactly what it was when we opened in 2009,” Bass said.
“We really don’t think they have any kind of case against us,” Bass added.
Erika Triglia, manager at Patient to Patient Collective, also said she did not expect the day-to-day operations to change because of the letters from prosecutors.
“We’re just going to keep on trucking,” Triglia said. “They’re doing their job and I’m doing mine, which is to provide medicine to patients.”
City of Angels 2 collective owner Gino DiMatteo did not return a request for comment Thursday.
Federal prosecutors began increasing pressure on California’s medical marijuana industry during the fall.
Attorneys in the Eastern District of California have sent out 50 to 60 letters to medical marijuana dispensaries between Stanislaus County in the Central Valley and the Oregon border since October, Horwood said.