Yesterday, an early morning raid on a Sacramento dispensary was executed for the El Camino Wellness Center. DEA agents raided the facility in the early morning hours, around six A.M. They also raided the homes of the executive directors at the same time. The Sacramento police were on hand, but were only there for crowd control. Indeed, some protesters began gathering outside the center within the hour, having learned about it on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
The El Camino Wellness center had been operating for since 2008. The Center is one out of just four dispensaries that had gone through the rigorous vetting process of the city. They also provide chiropractic services, massages, peer counseling and other health services. Wellness spokesperson, Linda Stokely says there are NO schools or parks within a thousand feet of the location, in compliance with state guidelines. The dispensary has hosted numerous tours of their facilities for city council members as well as State and Local Officials. City Councilman, Steve Cohn had even sent a letter to California US Attorney, Ben Wagner calling the dispensary a leader in the city’s effort to regulate dispensaries and saying that he had toured the facility and that he was impressed with its “overall level of compassion and professionalism.”
California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who has sponsored a bill to regulate the California dispensary industry said that “80 percent of us Californians who support medical cannabis are disappointed (in the raids) and want some backing from the (Obama) administration to end this reefer madness.” Linda Stokely told National Cannabis Radio that the operators had perceived no signs that the raid was imminent, but she did say that they had known a day like this was a possibility since they opened their doors. Stokely said the most frustrating thing about the raid was that the Federal Field warrant is sealed, so they have no idea exactly what they were looking for. She said it was far too early to predict if the business will be able to reopen. They are still assessing the damage. She said the well-run, well-established business was totally cleaned out. They took everything needed to run a business, including all of their files and computers. As is typical, no arrests were made, and now more than 24 hours after the raids, no one is sure if there will be any arrests.
Stokely said that the feeling in Sacramento is that if they can take down the guys that are running totally transparently and doing things right, then everyone is a target. A protest was held in support for the center yesterday, and organizers are planning another one in the near future.