5 Thurston pot dispensaries busted

The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force served search warrants at five medicinal marijuana dispensaries Tuesday morning and shut them down, according to a police spokesman. The five dispensaries include two in Olympia: The Olympia Patient Resource Center at 420 Steele St. and The Healing Center at 316 Capitol Way. Two dispensaries in Lacey – Cannabis Outreach Services at 5709 Lacey Blvd., and Lacey Cross, at 4227 Pacific Avenue, also were shut down. A Rochester marijuana dispensary, Triple D’s, at 21530 Old Highway 99, is the fifth dispensary that was shut down Tuesday.  Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Elwin said that, so far, no one has been arrested. However, the operators and employees of the dispensaries are being detained and questioned, he said.

Elwin said that police are not targeting medical patients with legitimate “green cards,” because they are legally purchasing marijuana. “A vast majority are legitimately seeking out marijuana for their medical conditions,” he said.  However, Elwin said criminal charges are likely forthcoming to those individuals who are illegally selling and distributing marijuana from the dispensaries. “Nobody’s been arrested yet,” he said.  “These dispensaries are operating illegally and outside of the law,” he said. “It’s our job to enforce these laws and that’s what we’re doing today.”  Richard Williams, of Centralia, who drove up to the dispensary on Steele Street Tuesday as the bust was ongoing said he is a patient at The Olympia Patient Resource Center. Williams said the operators of the dispensary are honest people who do not sell to marijuana unless a person is a legitimate medicinal marijuana patient. He said he thought the bust was unfair.

“They’re doing a legal and legitimate business,” Williams said.

The Tuesday busts were the culmination of a five-month investigation by the task force, with assistance from the Washington State Patrol, Elwin said. As of about noon, no marijuana had been seized from the dispensaries, Elwin said.  One of the goals of the investigation will be to determine where the dispensaries are getting their marijuana, Elwin said. “How did it get here, and where did it come from,” said Elwin when asked to describe what investigators are looking for. He added that there were similar busts Tuesday in Pierce and King counties.  A business owner located next door to the dispensary on Steele Street declined to comment on the bust of the neighboring business on Tuesday.

via : TheOlympian.com

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