For the second time this year, police have raided an illegal pot shop operating as a church in the Midway District. A day before the 420 "weed holiday," narcotics detectives from the San Diego Police Department raided the dispensary, Cannabis Sanctuary, along Midway Drive.
During the raid, officers seized 1.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana, concentrates and edibles and $1,300 in cash, Lt. Matt Novak said. Two employees were arrested, and the owners and operators will also be charged. In February, the same location, operating under the name Sacred Source Sanctuary, was raided. Officers seized 7 pounds of marijuana, $1,200 in cash and a .45-caliber handgun, Novak said. Five employees were arrested that day and cited for possession of marijuana for sale and operating a business without a permit.
"After the first search warrant, the dispensary changed names and continued to operate in defiance of local and state laws,'' the lieutenant said.
However, the business says they aren't doing anything wrong. They say marijuana is being used as a sacrament for worshipers, and is not being sold. According to their website, which is still operating under Sacred Source Sanctuary, they consider themselves an open-faith sanctuary that provides resources to help members stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.
Despite recreational marijuana becoming legal at the start of this year, police and the San Diego City Attorney's Office continue to crack down on dispensaries that operate illegally without the proper licenses and permits from the state. "All owners and employees found operating these illegal businesses will be arrested and prosecuted,'' Novak warned. "Reopening of any of these illegal businesses will result in additional enforcement, seizures, arrests, charges and penalties."
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