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Another Dispensary Closes

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
The battle between local marijuana dispensaries and federal law seems to have come to an end in Kern county.

The last marijuana dispensary in Kern County says they will close their doors to avoid further persecution from the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Jim McGowen, owner of American Caregivers Collective says, he made the decision after a visit from the D.E.A. telling him to shut his doors or risk going to jail. "It's sad for the people who deserve it and won't be able to get it," McGowen added.

He says he took a risk reopening his store on Tuesday for his patients after voluntarily closing down two weeks ago, after he brought his business to a screeching halt in the midst of federal pot raids.

McGowern told Eyewitness News "we said well why should we sit here and wait for the DEA to close us down, so we closed down."

The controversy began brewing over the past few months when drug enforcement agents assisted by the Sheriff's department began raiding medicinal marijuana dispensaries around the county. Medical marijuana is legal under state law, but illegal in the eyes of federal law.

According to McGovern this tug-o-war is what he believes caused Sheriff Donny Youngblood to wash his hands of the task of issuing licenses.
So, McGowen says he was told if he shut his doors today he would be left alone, but if he did not they would eventually be arrested.

Eyewitness News asked the DEA about it, they say they cannot confirm or deny any information.

But they do say their position is clear: They will investigate anyone who breaks the law.

Meantime, Supervisor Maggard's office says the issue of medicinal marijuana ordinances and licenses have been referred to county council, which will be discussed at the next meeting.



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