19 May 2016
The Huffington Post reports
A California medical marijuana distributor is looking to bounce back after local law enforcement raided the business and seized approximately $1.4 million in cash and assets.
San Diego-based Med-West Distribution, which manufactures cannabis oil cartridges for medical use, was raided on Jan. 28, after police said they received a tip that the company was illegally producing and distributing cannabis oil. Newly released security footage shows roughly two dozen law enforcement officers, outfitted in helmets and body armor and carrying assault rifles, raiding the business. Two employees were handcuffed and detained for several hours.
According to Med-West CEO James Slatic, San Diego’s police department seized much of the company’s assets during the raid, including its products, hard drives and over $300,000 in cash. Slatic’s bank accounts, as well of those of his wife and daughters, were also frozen.
The raid came as a shock to Slatic, who has served on the boards of the Marijuana Policy Project and the California Cannabis Industry Association and has been heavily involved with the political side of the cannabis community. He launched Med-West in 2010, and until the January raid, he’d never had a problem with law enforcement.
“We just thought that we were part of the responsible marijuana industry,” Slatic said.
Police had previously claimed that Med-West was using an illegal and hazardous process to manufacture its products, and that it was operating in violation of state laws that limit distribution of medical marijuana products exclusively to licensed medical marijuana dispensaries. But nearly four months after the raid, no charges have been filed against the lab or any of its employees. None of the assets seized during the raid have been returned.
The San Diego district attorney’s office would neither confirm nor deny that it is involved in an investigation of Med-West. The office declined to answer specific questions about why the raid occurred, which law enforcement agencies were involved and what charges, if any, are pending.
Slatic is now looking toward a June hearing, when he’ll petition to get back some of the money seized in the raids, as well as funds from his and his family’s personal bank accounts. Slatic has raised about $30,000 from an Indiegogo campaign to pay for his legal defense. He’s also received support from U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the co-author of the budget amendment that prevents the Justice Department from using federal funds to go after state-legal marijuana businesses.
You Tube Video Statement by Med – West Company Owner James Slatic
Published March 18 2016