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$1.4 Million in Cannabis Product Seized From Unlicensed Dispensary in California

By Alexander Beadle

Published: May 13, 2019   
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State and city authorities have raided an unlicensed cannabis business in Costa Mesa, California, as a part of an ongoing enforcement effort to close illicit cannabis businesses in the area.

News of the raid officially broke last week via a statement from California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, though the raid itself was conducted much earlier.

Officers from the Cannabis Enforcement Unit, which is made up of members of the city’s Code Enforcement Unit, the Costa Mesa Police Department, and the Bureau of Cannabis Control, served a search warrant to “Costa Mesa Beach Buds” at 1651 Placentia Avenue on March 28. The search of the unlicensed business resulted in the seizure of over $1.4 million in cannabis products and the immediate shutdown of operations.

Commercial cannabis ventures in California must obtain a valid license from one of California’s three cannabis licensing bodies in order to lawfully operate in the state. The city maintains a freely available online list of local dispensaries that are under investigation or that have previously received citations for unlawful business conduct. Costa Mesa Beach Buds is the seventh dispensary to be shut down by Costa Mesa city officials for operating illegally without the proper licensing required by the state.

“Illegal dispensaries harm and burden surrounding business owners and taxpayers,” said City of Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, in the statement from the Bureau of Cannabis Control. “Allowing them to illegally operate in the city creates an unfair advantage over our lawfully permitted green zone businesses. We are so grateful for the efforts of the Bureau to address illegal dispensaries in Costa Mesa.”

The “green zone” in Costa Mesa was created by Measure X, a voter-approved initiative that appeared on the 2016 ballot. The measure allowed firms that research, test, process, manufacture, or otherwise work with cannabis products to open in within a designated region of the city. The green zone extends north of South Coast Drive and west of Harbor Boulevard.

Alexander Beadle

Science Writer

Alexander Beadle has been working as a freelance science writer since 2017 and has covered the cannabis industry for Analytical Cannabis since 2018. He has also written for our sister publication, Technology Networks, and the cannabis industry consultant firm Prohibition Partners, among others. Alexander holds a Master's in Materials Chemistry from the University of St. Andrews, where he won a Chemistry Purdie scholarship, and conducted research into zeolite crystal growth mechanisms and the action of single-molecule transistors.


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