Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division have arrested three people and permanently closed a cannabis dispensary that was allegedly operating illegally in the 5300 block of Pico Boulevard.
Authorities raided the Ganja Garden dispensary three times after officers first noticed it operating in late July, and each time, the dispensary reopened, said Detective Marla Kiley, of the Wilshire Division’s Narcotics Unit. After recently determining the business reopened again, authorities raided the building on Oct. 6 and worked with the city of Los Angeles to have it permanently boarded up. Kiley said it was the first illegal dispensary in the city to be permanently shuttered for allegedly circumventing the city’s ordinance on cannabis dispensaries.
“We were a test case,” Kiley added. “It got a lot of eyes looking at what would happen, and the ultimate outcome went very well.”
The detective said the process to have an illegal business permanently closed requires multiple steps. Each time the business was raided, authorities confiscated cannabis they believed was being illegally sold. Officers also served the business with a notice of unauthorized commercial cannabis activity and posted a notice of the intent to padlock, barricade and fence the building. Each time, the unnamed property and business owners were given 10 days to request a hearing with the Office of Public Safety before further measures were taken, and the notices were never appealed, Kiley said.
The Department of Water and Power disconnected the electricity after the first search warrant was served on Aug. 4. Authorities later saw the business open again and found the operators had illegally connected to a neighboring building’s electricity, Kiley said.
“We would serve a search warrant and arrest people and confiscate property, and they would break in and start operating again,” she added. “At the same time, we were working with the city to get it permanently closed down.”
Published: October 23, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News