Just-Raided Marijuana Dispensary Owner Urges Action Before City Council Tonight

Owner of unlicensed Golden State Collective to protest last week’s search, arrests and seizures at his business

Published : Monday, December 17, 2018 | 6:21 AM

An unlicensed marijuana dispensary owner is planning a presentation at City Council Monday following the execution of a search warrant, two arrests, and seizure of cash and inventory at his Pasadena business last week.

Shaun Szameit, the owner of Golden State Collective at 50 North Mentor Avenue, posted a sign on his dispensary’s doors Friday asking for supporters to “wear green” and appear in City Council chambers with him Monday as he addresses the Council on the issue.

“The City decided to raid Golden State Collective … rather than license our activity,” Szameit’s sign said. “We support every cause in the City and have been fooled and lied to by the City and their staff.”

“We are supported by the business and resident community and have given ? of our income this year back to the city residents and programs that need it!” the sign said.

Pasadena police confirm that officers executed a search warrant at the Collective on December 12 and arrested two individuals on suspicion of violation of Health and Safety Code 11359, and seized approximately 28.45 gross pounds of marijuana and marijuana bi-products along with $3,378.00 in cash.

Last June, Pasadena voters approved two measures to allow a limited number of licensed commercial cannabis businesses to operate in the city and the levying of a special municipal tax upon those businesses.

Pasadena will now allow and regulate cannabis sales while imposing distance requirements for recreational marijuana sales from schools, residences, and homes.

The City has specified procedures on how to apply for a license under new City ordinances.

But Szameit has appeared repeatedly before City Council over the last month, imploring them to consider his business for one of only retail six licenses the City will award to dispensaries.

According to the City’s new ordinance, Golden State Collective is not eligible for a license as it has operated “illegally” in Pasadena since 2012. The dispensary is one of a handful of unlicensed dispensaries the City has tried to shut down, through various methods, over the last year.
Szameit is involved in multiple legal actions with the City.

Mayor Terry Tornek has acknowledged that Pasadena has “had a number of illegal dispensaries operating for some time.”

According to Tornek, the current dispensaries are “flouting the law” and “have not gone through the process.”

“It’s taken us a long time [to shut down illegal dispensaries] because it’s very complicated and they’ve got money to spend on legal defenses. It’s taken a long time to be successful in shutting them down, and we are determined to shut them down, and then go through the legal process of licensing those that meet the strict criteria that we established,” he said.

Szameit did not return calls Sunday evening asking for comment.

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