Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jan 2018
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2018 Los Angeles Times
Author: Hannah Fry


Laguna Beach police this month shut down what they allege was a
marijuana dispensary posing as a church, the department said Monday.

Officers seized more than 20 pounds of marijuana and more than $3,000
in cash, according to police Sgt. Jim Cota.

Officers responded to Divine Church of Gardens at 910 Glenneyre St. at
about 4:40 p.m. Jan. 12 after a passerby reported a potent marijuana
smell emanating from the property and people leaving with white bags,
Cota said.

A man at the location told officers he was a volunteer at the church,
which sold marijuana for religious sacraments, Cota said.

Marijuana and smoking accessories were displayed in glass cases,
according to police.

"As a result of the investigation, Laguna Beach Police Department
officers seized enough marijuana to cover a Cypress Hill concert, as
well as cash proceedings from the sale of their 'religious
sacraments,'" the department wrote in a Facebook post.

It is not clear how long the location was operating.

Lucas Dichiara, 31, of Irvine, the man who said he was a church
volunteer, was arrested on suspicion of possession and sale of
marijuana, according to Cota.

Laguna Beach does not allow commercial cultivation, distribution and
sale of recreational cannabis, which California legalized with the
passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act allows cities to ban marijuana
businesses, which Laguna Beach city leaders voted to do in April last

Divine Church of Gardens is listed on the website Weedmaps as a
marijuana dispensary.

A message left Monday at a phone number for Divine Church of Gardens
was not immediately returned.
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MAP posted-by: Matt