The city of Los Angeles in California filed a lawsuit against a cannabis store for operating without a proper license and for selling pesticide-laced cannabis products.
City Attorney Mike Feuer is seeking the immediate closure of South Los Angeles cannabis retail store Kush Club 20. Products sold by the company have tested positive for Paclobutrazol, which is a dangerous plant growth fungicide that has already been banned in the state for use in cannabis and food crops. This chemical is typically used to make grass appear green and dense on golf courses.
The civil lawsuit also named as defendants two of the store’s salespeople and a commercial real estate broker for allegedly aiding and abetting illegal activity.
Moreover, the city seeks penalties of up to $20,000 for each day that Kush Club 20 operated its business illegally. It is also seeking payment of costs and attorney’s fees associated with the investigation on the business.
Feuer pointed out that illegal cannabis enterprises can pose serious threats to public health and safety. Customers patronize illegal stores at their peril and undermine businesses that are legitimate and who abide by the laws, as well as sell products that have tested and passed health standards, he added.
Councilmember Curren Price said that the actions taken by the office of the city attorney against Kush Club 20 should serve as a warning to property owners and cannabis business operators, and, generally, everyone facilitating illegal business practices. These individuals and businesses will be targeted and justice will be served.
The lawsuit is the first civil enforcement action in the state taken against an illegal vendor and seeking heavy monetary penalties. It also comes as part of a broader crackdown on illegitimate cannabis businesses.
After California legalized adult-use cannabis, all cannabis businesses in Los Angeles have been required to obtain a license from both the state and the city.
Since May 2018, the Los Angeles Attorney’s Office has filed 217 cases against 172 cannabis dispensaries and two delivery services — with a total of 840 defendants. So far, 113 of these stores have been shut down.