The LAPD’s Narcotics Enforcement Detail raided the American Eagle Collective, one of the major marijuana dispensaries in Eagle Rock, Wednesday afternoon and an officer on the scene said that the facility would be shut down forthwith.
“We’ve had an ongoing investigation here about some illegal activity that’s inconsistent with medical marijuana laws,” Lt. David Kowalski told Patch, adding that he had a search warrant for the raid and that officers were in the process of seizing property from the dispensary, located on the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and College View Avenue.
Kowalski explained that the nature of the raid was similar to those conducted in recent months on medical marijuana facilities in the San Fernando Valley. “It’s all about narcotics for this operation,” he said, adding that "the laws are so ambiguous and complex—it all depends on what the D.A. wants from us."
Kowalski, who belongs to the LAPD’s Northeast Community Station, said that his team was in touch with the dispensary’s owner and manager.
AEC inexplicably shut down for a little more than two weeks in March and reopened April 6 after what employees at the dispensary said was a change in ownership.
When Patch visited the dispensary during the raid, the door was locked from inside. An officer in a bullet-proof vest opened it and explained that an investigation was underway. Seated on a couch in the lobby, his hands handcuffed behind him, was the dispensary’s manager.
A police car was parked on the far end of the parking lot in the mini mall where the dispensary is located, and another squad car was parked on the intersection of College View and Colorado Boulevard. About half a dozen potential customers were turned back from the facility in a span of 10 minutes.
“It’s startling how many people come and go from here,” Kowalski remarked.
AEC is among at least two-dozen medical marijuana facilities in Los Angeles that have been the targets of lawsuits by the City Attorney’s office. While AEC has been accused of violating City zoning laws, the dispensary’s landlord, Penny Botsch, who owns Adams Wilshire Engraving Inc., a printing store directly next doors, is accused of violating health and safety codes by leasing property to a business that deals in a controlled substance. (The City has sued two other Eagle Rock dispensaries on Colorado Boulevard—Organic Healing Center and Colorado Quality Pain—for violating a law that requires such facilities to be located outside a 600-foot radius of schools.)
Asha Greenberg, an assistant deputy district attorney told Patch in early April that a motion to seek a preliminary injunction against AEC is scheduled for May 31 in the court of Superior Court Judge John Wiley, Jr. The injunction is akin to an interim order intended to get AEC to vacate the store it’s occupying because, as Greenberg put it, the facility is “in violation of the state’s narcotics abatement law and therefore should be stopped from distributing marijuana.”
Greenberg is on vacation until May 9, and someone from her office is expected to update Patch about the latest status of the lawsuit against AEC.