Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
A judge in California has ordered the Santa Barbara County sheriff’s office to return 1,800 pounds of cannabis oil and $620,000 in cash that it seized earlier this year from a cannabis farm.
A raid of Arroyo Verde Farms this past January resulted in the seizure of the cannabis oil and cash, with the sheriff’s office later arguing before the court that because the assets related to an ongoing criminal investigation, they should be forfeited to the office.
The sheriff’s office argument didn’t fly with the judge, however. “The record here shows that a California licensed cannabis operator committed no crime, much less intentionally committed a crime,” Marijuana Business Daily quotes a judge with the Santa Barbara Count Superior Court as concluding.
The confiscated oil, which represented about two-thirds of the company’s saleable inventory, had already been sold to Procan Labs and was being stored by Arroyo Verde Farms, Marijuana Business reports.
“Unless the seized cannabis oil is returned to Procan expeditiously, the company will likely be forced to close its business,” the judge in the case said, ruling in favour of the large-scale ethanol extraction company that was the object of the enthusiastic police response.
Citing the ruling, Procan Labs reports that “criminal laws such as the state Controlled Substances Act do not apply to licensed commercial cannabis activities.” The court further found “there was no black market oil whatsoever on the premises,” and all substances had been clearly tagged.