Sheriff's Officials Return Marijuana to Raided Dispensary

By Artie Ojeda and Andie Adams
|  Tuesday, Jul 8, 2014  |  Updated 11:02 AM PDT
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Last October, a North County medical marijuana collective was raided. But on Monday, the sheriff’s department was forced to give back the 20 pounds of pot it confiscated during the raid. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda explains.

Last October, a North County medical marijuana collective was raided. But on Monday, the sheriff’s department was forced to give back the 20 pounds of pot it confiscated during the raid. NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda explains.

 Sheriff’s officials have handed over 20 pounds of cannabis to a North County medical marijuana dispensary raided by deputies last year.

An unusual sight at the San Diego County Sheriff’s crime lab played out Monday as confiscated marijuana and grow equipment was returned to the owners of SoCal Pure Collective in Vista.

Last October, deputies raided the dispensary and took at least $10,000 worth of equipment as evidence.

“I don’t think that we needed to have assault rifles held to our heads. I think we could have been served paperwork,” owner Laura Sharp said of the raid.

However, a spokesperson for District Attorney’s Office said they dropped the case in April because of insufficient evidence, and a judge ordered all the confiscated items be returned – including the marijuana.

Sharp, who has operated the 2,500-member collective since 2010, said a lot of the returned cannabis is most likely not good anymore, so she will have to have it lab tested.

At this point, Sharp told NBC 7 she is not sure if she will still operate the collective because this experience has been trying, expensive and scary.

The development comes in the midst of a debate over whether dispensaries should be legalized. The SoCal Pure Collective was caught in the middle of what most agree are confusing state and federal laws regarding those dispensaries.

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