Colton Pot Dispensary Shut Down After Federal Raid
October 31, 2011
Gina Tenorio, Loma Linda Patch
The closed sign on the front door of G3 Holistic Inc. at first confused one young customer, then it made her cringe.
“They’re closed?” she asked. The news had not yet reached everyone who patronized the dispensary.
On Tuesday, federal authorities descended on the facility at 1200 block of Washington Street in Colton, seizing materials they claimed was proof that Aaron Sandusky and partner John Nuckolls ran a “marijuana drug trafficking organization,” according to a federal search warrant.
Sandusky, told the San Bernardino Sun he will reopen his locations by Wednesday.
Authorities also raided G3 dispensaries in Upland and Moreno Valley as well as Sandusky’s Rancho Cucamonga home, John Nuckolls' Rialto home and what authorities described as the cooperatives “marijuana warehouse” in Ontario.
According to the report put together by Drug Enforcement Administration special agent of Patrick L. Kelly, “while G3 Stores purport to operate as marijuana stores which dispense marijuana to individuals solely within their ‘collective,’ there is probable cause to believe that no collective exists and the G3 Stores sells marijuana to the general public in violation of California law.”
For the young customer who found doors locked closed, the closure was disheartening. She walked somewhat stiffly back to her car. She asked not to be identified.
“I hurt my back in an accident,” she said. “I’m always in pain.”
The closure could mean a return to the stream of ineffective pills, she said. Physicians would give her ibuprofen and send her on her way. Her job requires her to spend long hours on her feet, she said.
“I use this for medicinal purposes, nothing else,” she said. “And this was the only thing that worked.”
G3 Holistic Inc. serves the greater area, including the cities of Redlands and Loma Linda. Early last month, federal prosecutors announced they would crack down on medical marijuana collectives throughout California.
At the time, Sandusky said he was confident authorities would not come after G3 because the collective had been careful to stick to California Compassionate Use Act, a law that allows the use of cannabis with a doctor’s prescription.
“Really what they did was target a few in Long Beach and San Diego that were very close to schools and parks ... they sent out notices to those owners and landlords,” Sandusky said in early October. “And they wanted to reiterate that they still consider marijuana an illegal substance and that no one is really safe.”
G3 Holistic has been embroiled in legal battles with Colton and Upland. The cities have been trying to evict them.
Medical marijuana advocates also released a statement criticizing the Department of Justice's crackdown.
“Aggressive tactics like these are a completely inappropriate use of prosecutorial discretion by the Obama administration,” said Joe Elford, a lawyer with Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group. “President Obama must answer for his contradictory policy.”