SACRAMENTO, CA - Another week, another shutdown. Medizen medical marijuana dispensary on Northgate Boulevard in Sacramento was shut down early Monday morning. It is a city-licensed business, but that hasn't stopped the feds from moving in.
Several weeks ago, federal prosecutors in California announced they plan on cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries. Even though medical marijuana is legal in this state, it's still considered an illegal drug by the federal government.
DEA agents began clearing out the Medizen dispensary even before it opened for business Monday. Agents also raided Central Valley Caregivers Co-operative in Stockton about the same time.
A Medizen employee told News10 that his his manager and landlord were never notified by letter or by the federal government. The business was forced to shut down without warning.
"I was supposed to open at 10 a.m. They got here at 7:30. I heard... they came in and basically took all our stuff, seized everything, took all our cash and product and stuff and that's basically it," said employee Mike Amarao."They just said they're shutting all the clubs down in Sacramento, that's all we heard."
Some people argue that the closures will financially hurt the city of Sacramento.
The 4 percent tax on city dispensaries just went into effect in July. That tax is estimated to generate $2 million dollars for city coffers.
Attorney Jeff Kravitz represents several dispensaries in Sacramento County. He says some of his clients have shut down voluntarily--saying that it's not worth fighting the federal government. He says all the closures are sure to cause more unemployment and decreased property values.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org