Wa: Kent police serve warrants at four medical marijuana businesses

mapinc/ 7/6/2011 / By Steve Hunter, Government Reporter, Source: Kent Reporter

Kent Police served search warrants at four medical marijuana businesses Wednesday afternoon, according to a city of Kent media release.

The businesses, all located in the Kent Valley, have been the subject of an ongoing investigation for selling medicinal marijuana in violation of state law.

The search warrants are the city’s latest step in a process that began with notice to marijuana dispensary owners they must close or face the loss of their business licenses and potential criminal charges.

The Kent City Council passed a six-month emergency moratorium Tuesday on the establishment and operation of medical marijuana collective gardens and dispensaries within the city limits on a 5-2 vote.

Cease and desist letters were mailed to each business owner in early June, followed by a second round of notices delivered by Kent Police three weeks later.

Last week, police confirmed drug sales were still occurring at each business, according to city officials. Search warrants were requested and issued by the Kent Municipal Court authorizing police to search the four businesses.

The warrants directed officers to seize evidence including drugs, computers, cell phones, security devices, and weapons.

"State law has put the city in a precarious position; we cannot just stand by while activity that is illegal under state and federal law occurs in the city," said Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke in a prepared statement.

Each of the warrants were served without incident by a team of uniformed police officers and representatives from the city’s legal department. Police officers and investigators anticipate remaining on scene into Wednesday afternoon while they continue their investigation and evidence collection.

The case will be referred to the Kent City Attorney for prosecution.

Police served warrants at:

Herbal Choice Caregivers, 19011 68th Ave. S.; Suzie Q’s, 19435 68th Ave. S.; Sun Leaf Medical Center, 6625 S. 190th St.; and Evergreen Holistic Center, 204 N. Central Ave.

MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.