GLENDORA — DEA agents and Glendora police raided a medical marijuana dispensary on Arrow Highway Friday, seizing marijuana and cash and arresting two men for unrelated warrants, authorities said.
Heavily armed officials arrived at the Glendora Healing Center, 915 W. Arrow Highway, about 11 a.m. and forced their way in when a knock at the locked door was not immediately answered, Glendora police Lt. Tim Staab said.
“There was a joint investigation with Glendora P.D,” said DEA spokesman Jose Martinez. “Obviously, there was enough to obtain a federal warrant.”
Investigators continued to process evidence Friday, in order to turn it over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution, he said.
Officers and agents detained about seven customers and employees as they collected what ultimately amounted to more than 12 pounds of pot and 720 grams of marijuana-infused edible products, officials said.
Additionally, investigators seized about $5,000 in cash from the dispensary and an ATM machine inside, as well as “evidence of retail sales,” Staab said.
The lieutenant described the operation as “a thriving business.”
No arrests were made in connection with marijuana sales during the raid, however two men were arrested because of outstanding traffic warrants, DEA spokesman Jose Martinez said.
Agents were continuing to look into who was responsible for the marijuana dispensary, Martinez said.
Charles Fagan, who police said owns and leases out the property, declined to comment.
As the investigation continues, Staab said, it’s possible that DEA officials will seek to seize the property under federal law allowing properties used in drug crimes to be confiscated from the owners.
The dispensary opened in recent months and has since been sent written notices that Glendora has a city ordinance banning such establishments, Staab said. The ordinance, however, is being challenged in court, and the dispensary kept its doors open.
As the police investigation continued, DEA officials became aware of the dispensary and requested to take over, culminating in Friday’s search warrant, Staab said.
Because marijuana remains illegal federally, even those who operate in compliance with state medical marijuana laws such as California’s 1994 ballot initiative remain open to federal prosecution.
Earlier this week, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, issued a statement criticizing the federal government for cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries in state’s that have medical marijuana laws.
“Sixteen states, including our home state of California, and the District of Columbia have adopted medicinal marijuana laws — most by a vote of the people,” Pelosi said Wednesday.
“I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California, and undermine a policy that has been in place under which the federal government did not pursue individuals whose actions complied with state laws providing for medicinal marijuana.”
STAFF photo by Walt Mancini