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Illegal marijuana dispensaries operating with impunity in Compton

In spite of a city ban, medical marijuana dispensaries in Compton sprouting like ‘weeds’; an investigation found 21 active outlets within city limits  COMPTON — Some business interests in the “Hub City” apparently have no regard

In spite of a city ban, medical marijuana dispensaries in Compton sprouting like ‘weeds’; an investigation found 21 active outlets within city limits

 COMPTON — Some business interests in the “Hub City” apparently have no regard for the rule of law, or respect for official providence — not when the potential to accrue enormous profit is involved. The Compton Herald has identified 21 active medical marijuana dispensaries open for business despite a 2008 ordinance banning such enterprises.

The Herald found addresses and phone numbers for the dispensaries through a digital locator called Weedmaps. The Herald phoned the dispensaries to inquire about hours of operation and each outlet freely provided that information to the Herald. Essentially, the dispensaries are conducting illegal business, seemingly exempt from consequences.

Asked for comment on the violations by ever-increasing numbers of unlawful dispensaries, Mayor Aja Brown returned a text to the Herald, following an inquiry, that some have been closed.

“The city’s special task force led by City Attorney [Craig Cornwell] in partnership with the sheriff’s department have shut down nearly 20 dispensaries over the last several years,” she noted in a phone text. “I highly recommend contacting the city attorney for specifics on the city’s enforcement efforts, which fall within his office. Lastly, Capt. [Michael E.] Thatcher [of the Compton Sheriff’s station] is a great source. He can also provide information on the latest efforts,” Brown added.

The Herald sought comment from Cornwell but he did not return several inquiries to his office before the deadline.

The city attorney, who has come under fire for his seeming malaise of leadership in enforcing the strictures of his office such as violations of the city charter by city officials, addressed an issue in 2008 regarding an ordinance enacted to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries, which he viewed as “inadequate” at the time. Cornwell sought a 45-day moratorium on all marijuana coming into the city to allow time to consider additional regulations to enforce prohibition.

Cornwell was quoted in another newspaper, explaining his reasoning for a moratorium:  “The marijuana industry has expanded considerably since the ordinance was adopted in 2008. Now the city is faced with additional uses such as cultivation, processing [and] distribution activities.

“This is a temporary stop, which would [allow the city to] see what additional regulations if any, the city wants to put in place – and does not disturb our current ban on dispensaries,” he said at the time.

With Councilperson Isaac Galvan absent, the City Council deadlocked on a vote for a moratorium. Brown and Councilperson Emma Sharif voted in favor of the ordinance and Councilpersons Jana Zurita and Tana McCoy voted “no.”

Concerned about patients dependent on the medical herb being denied it for 45 days, Zurita noted the futility of a 45-day moratorium when the city already had an ordinance in place that wasn’t being enforced.

Eight years later the ban on medical weed dispensaries still is not being enforced effectively — if at all. Cornwell’s task force appears to have little or no will to enforce an iron-clad shutdown in terms of the implementation of arrests, fines, and jail time.

According to Thatcher of the Compton Sheriff station, dispensaries closed one day, “typically re-open” for business the very next day. He shed light on the enforcement aspect of closures and why it remains a protracted struggle to shutter dispensaries permanently.

“Basically the sheriff’s department has a team of officers assigned to our headquarters [for] narcotics that deals with marijuana dispensaries for L.A. County,” he said, “As the need arises we are able to shut down marijuana dispensaries in the City of Compton [because there is] an ordinance against [them]. The team comes into the city and does just that.

“You shut one down and the very next day it opens right back up, again … it makes for a very confounding situation,” Thatcher said.

As of the first week of September, 21 dispensaries offering “walkup, mail order, and delivery” service, were operating in Compton, effectively turning it into a bustling “hub” for the open market sale of hundreds of strains of marijuana, a variety of edibles, chewing gum, and cannabis oils.

The following are dispensaries the Herald found, along with addresses, and names of owners. Not all of the dispensaries listed owners’ names, however, and some of the dispensaries were “delivery” only.

  • Green Leaf Collective, 1560 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton CA 90221, (310) 710-3099; Owner: Rajinder (Paul) Bawa.
  • Cannaclub 30, 537 Rosecrans Ave., Compton, CA 90222
  • Compton Patient Group, 810 W. Rosecrans Ave., Compton, CA 90222, (213) 807-5355; Owner: Jianghai Qiu.
  • The Blvd., 401 W. Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90220, (213) 884-7212; Owners: Billy Chase, James Perkins.
  • The 710 Club, 118 N. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, CA 90220; Delivery Only; Owners: Woo-Koyho and Son / Woo Family Trust.
  • Alondra Compassionate Caregivers Medical Clinic, 1715 E. Alondra Blvd., Compton, CA 90221 (424) 250-5767; Owners: Woo-Koyho and Son / Woo Family Trust.
  • Diamond Dream House Collective, Delivery Only, (562) 469-8303
  • The Green Dojo, Delivery Only, (562) 469-8303
  • Fast n Friendly, Delivery Only, (310) 870-7115
  • The Loud Farm, Delivery Only, (562) 261-3040
  • Happy Campers Dispensary, 1518 E. Alondra Blvd. Compton, CA 90221, (562) 290-3309; Owners: James and Beatrice Williams.
  • 420 Gas 30 Cap, 1518 E. Alondra Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, (562) 290-3309;
    Owners: James and Beatrice Williams.
  • Unit 5 CPT, 1110 S. Long Beach Blvd., #5, Compton, CA 90221,(424) 338-6505; Owner: Gil Park.
  • Loud 30 Cap Collective , 1920 E. Rosecrans Ave., Compton, CA 90221, (562) 361-6267; Owner: Andres Flores.
  • Best Stop, 4803 E. Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, (323) 203-7686; Owner: Hidesada Fujimori
  • Alondra Compassionate Caregivers Medical Clinic, 1715 E. Alondra Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, (424) 250-3106; Owner: Best Western Summit, LLC
  • Compton Flight Club Bar, 325 W. Compton Blvd., Compton, CA 90220, (424) 232-7988; Owner: Best Western Summit, Inc.
  • Compton Caregivers Drug Store, 1315 N. Bullis Rd., Compton, CA 90221, (310) 438-3502; Owners: Charles and Alice Chow
  • Green Life Medical Clinic, 609 N. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, CA 90221, (310) 928-5215; Owner: Young Chung
  • House Of Dank Pharmacy, 704 W. Rosecrans Ave., Compton, CA 90220, Owner: Genaro Quezada
  • The Spot-Compton, 1216 E. Rosecrans Ave., Compton, CA 90221, (213) 909-5815; Owner: 110 Spence LLC.

 

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

3 COMMENTS
  • Mr Wright September 28, 2016

    When the city attorneys office was shutting down clinics it was not the sheriff’s helping him once the sheriff’s noticed what was being done was working they came to council and made a statement that’s if the council allow them to be primary on shutting the inics down they could.have them all closed in a few months. When it was granted it was oy 4 left from 17 now it’s almost 26. And growing. Give it back to the highest ranking law enforcement officer in our city and the staff he had at first and let’s see what happens from there

  • Susan Adams September 2, 2016

    Thank you for your “commercial” on cannabis. Blacks and browns are not being locked out of the industry by banning in Compton, think Snoop Dogg and so many others. You can go into the business in any city that is legal to operate from. Right now, there are 20 plus businesses in Compton, and guess what, Compton people don’t own many so the money is being taken out of Compton anyway. As for the taxes, a fiscal analyst for the City of Long Beach found regulating the industry would cost their city 5 million dollars while the revenue would only be 3 million dollars. It cost more money to regulate than the city would make, so the idea that schools, youth centers, and pot holes would benefit is not necessarily true. And I wish people would stop hiding behind a faked mask of compassion. Most bedroom cities in California have banned marijuana so visiting another city is already business as usual for those “few” with a medical necessity. But who are we fooling. Wanting to buy, grow, or produce marijuana in Compton has nothing to do with the sick and infirm. This is about making money and convenience for recreational users–even if Compton and its neighborhoods, its children, its people, and its reputation have to continue to suffer.

  • Tomas Carlos September 2, 2016

    “not my fault I was elected”…..the message was loud and clear…but what are the citizens doing about it…

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