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.