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Owner Of PB Medical Marijuana Dispensary Pleads Guilty

Ganjarden

Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
The owner of a Pacific Beach medical marijuana dispensary has become the first operator out of the 14 raided last year to plead guilty to federal charges involving manufacturing marijuana plants and using his business for illegal drugs and money laundering.

Joseph Nunes, 32, owned the Green Kross Collective which was located at 3415 Mission Blvd. before a number of similar businesses were raided Sept. 9, 2009, by federal and state agencies. Nunes also operated a downtown site known as the Downtown Kush Lounge Cooperative at 777 Sixth Ave., which was also shut down.

So far Nunes is the first operator to be charged in federal or state court, said Deputy District Attorney Steve Walter, adding that the investigation about other businesses raided is still ongoing.

Three Pacific Beach cooperatives were among 11 others raided and were the subject of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' press conference on Sept. 10.

Nunes faces a maximum penalty of 45 years in federal prison, but such a long term is unlikely because of federal sentencing guidelines and the plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's office. Sentencing is set for March 22 before U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns.

Nunes, who lives in downtown San Diego, remains free on a $100,000 property bond. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Nunes also faces a criminal forfeiture procedure that would allow the government to keep the cash discovered at the two dispensaries, a warehouse and at his home. Agents found $38,915 in cash at the Pacific Beach site, and $29,777 in cash at his condominium, according to court records.

Nunes has agreed to forfeit a total of $71,336 in drug proceeds.

See related: Medical marijuana collective manager gets probation for ecstasy possession | City Council declines endorsement of medical marijuana regulations

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Green Kross Collective sold approximately $16,000 worth of marijuana and marijuana products in a two-day period. At the site, agents found marijuana inside cookies, brownies, lollipops and even sodas. There were 25 plants found at the Pacific Beach site while agents found 89 plants at the downtown location.

In 1996, state voters approved Proposition 215 that allowed for medical marijuana being prescribed by physicians who recommended it, but the law did not specify how patients could obtain the drug or if it could be transported from a dispensary. Marijuana is still illegal to possess under federal law.



NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: San Diego News Network
Author: Neal Putnam
Contact: San Diego News Network
Copyright: 2010 San Diego News Network, LLC
Website: Owner Of PB Medical Marijuana Dispensary Pleads Guilty
 
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