Law Enforcement Seize Money and Cannabis from Dispensaries
Law enforcement officials seized money and products from the dispensaries, resulting in a significant financial loss.
The Narcotics Enforcement Team responsible for the raids claimed that the dispensaries were conducting illegal sales.
“We have found evidence that these dispensaries continue to operate illegally even in violation of the newly passed Michigan House bills (MMFLA),” read the statement from police.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department, which covers the Grand Rapids are, released a list of the locations that were raided and shut down:
Michigan Relief Hub: 4920 Plainfield Ave NE
The Third Day: 4981 Plainfield Ave NE
(Unnamed dispensary): 5000 block of Circle Dr. NE
(Unnamed dispensary): 5400 block of Pine Island Dr. NE
Red Jasper: 3926 West River Dr. NE
(Unnamed dispensary): 1200 block of Taylor Ave NW
Green State Caregiving: 530 76th St. SW, #600
How Does The Community Feel?
Protesters gathered outside Township Hall on Friday to protest the raids. That city’s township board has not taken action for or against medical marijuana since 2011 when the board voted to ban dispensaries.
“The police officers even told us that they had a hard time getting a warrant because we were doing things up to par,” said Third Day owner Mathew. “It was basically if one person is getting in trouble, we’re all getting in trouble. Right now, we’re just trying to figure out why it happened and then we’re going to move on. And,” he added, “open back up as soon as possible.”
Sgt. Johnson remains hopeful that the dispensaries will be able to open in a legal, compliant manner once the new state regulations take effect. “We’ve been under a lot of pressure and received a lot of tips, from observers, and upset former employees, from businesses and citizens,” he said. “It needs to stop unless they start obeying the law.”
“We’re not picking on them,” he said of the closed dispensaries.
“We’ve been forced to do it. We have enough issues with heroin and cocaine on the streets and kids overdosing. Hopefully, they’ll start doing things right and operating lawfully.”
Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws
The raids occurred because of Michigan Currently confusing medical marijuana laws. Michigan passed its medical marijuana law in 2008, but the law was without a clear definition as to whether dispensaries are legal or not. Kent County Sgt. Johnson said the owners of Third Day (one of the raided dispensaries) approached Plainfield Township and told them of their newly opened dispensary, and received his warning.
“We advised him, what you’re doing is illegal and if we get enough complaints, we will have to act on them.”
The law also left the legality of other cannabis products, like edibles and concentrates, uncertain.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed several laws (known collectively as the MMFLA) in Septemeber in an effort to create consistency for legal medical cannabis dispensaries. The state now requires an operating license to grow, process, sell, transport and test cannabis. The new laws also legalize the use of infused cannabis products, such as edibles and topicals, and imposes a three percent tax on the gross retail income of a cannabis business.
“My uncle is having a meeting with Plainfield Township,” Mathew, C0-Owner of Third Day said. “He’s going to sit down with them and see if we can work out some kind of written agreement. We understand they had to do it this way, but we want to continue on the right path.”