Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jun 2016
Source: Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Column: The 420
Copyright: 2016 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Ngaio Bealum


Hey, what's all this about a company in Santa Rosa getting raided? I 
thought raids were a thing of the past?

- -Lou Kout

Sigh. You heard right. The CBD Guild (the company behind the brands 
Absolute Xtracts and Care By Design pills and tinctures) in Santa 
Rosa, was raided last week. According to reports, a disgruntled 
former employee went to the police and accused CBD Guild of making 
butane hash oil and concentrates. Using butane or other volatile 
solvent to make hash is illegal in California, although possessing or 
selling butane extracted marijuana concentrates is not illegal.

The police, the sheriff and a few DEA agents-I am not sure why the 
DEA was there, as federal law is supposed to keep the DEA from 
interfering with law-abiding cannabis collectives-raided six 
different locations, seized equipment and money and arrested Dennis 
Hunter, the head of the company. Hunter was charged with illegal 
manufacture of drugs and a few other things. His bail was set at $5 
million. Lo and behold, one day later, Hunter was released from jail 
and all the charges were dropped. Turns out the cops had bad info. 
Surprise. CBD Guild wasn't making butane hash; it uses carbon dioxide 
to make its concentrates. Not only that, CBD Guild had been working 
with Santa Rosa officials to set up guidelines and regulations about 
hash-making. This whole thing really makes the cops look bad.

And while it is great that no one will face charges, CBD Guild just 
lost a bunch of money and had all of its equipment seized. It will 
take time and more money for the company to get its stuff back. This 
raid was totally unnecessary.

Kristin Nevedal, Director of Americans for Safe Access' Patient 
Focused Certification program, said in a press release: "Violations 
pertaining to the proper storage of solvents and waste materials 
associated with the manufacturing of noncannabis based botanical 
products are not uncommon. However, such violations in the 
noncannabis botanical sector are enforced through a combination of 
fines and specified corrective actions. Only in extreme cases would 
immediate closure of the facility also be required."

In other words, city officials should have treated their concerns as 
a civil matter and not a criminal one. How much taxpayer money was 
wasted on this raid? How many hours did law enforcement spend setting 
up these raids? All that work, all those man hours, just to have all 
of the charges dropped. Now that CBD Guild has been shut down (for 
now), what are their employees supposed to do? File for unemployment? 
Great. More tax dollars.

The police really need to get it together and embrace the fact that 
medical cannabis isn't illegal like it used to be. Sure, there are 
still some gray areas, but there is no need to be raiding anyone over 
weed. Ever. I am sure that if they looked hard enough, the cops could 
find some real criminals (maybe start with bicycle thieves and work 
your way up from here) to arrest and maybe this time, they can make 
the charges stick.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom