LAKE FOREST – Charles Cafe, the last remaining medical-marijuana dispensary of nearly 40 that had opened in this city during the past two years, has been closed by federal agents.

The shop, known to city officials and police as a place that served pot-infused edibles in a happy hour-type setting after 5 p.m., was raided Friday, said Orange County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Pat Higa, the city’s chief of police services.

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Federal agents confiscated the marijuana and marijuana edibles and arrested the two owners on federal charges, Higa said.

“They were selling edibles, which are in violation of a federal mandate, Higa said.

Charles Cafe was the last of 38 medical marijuana dispensaries targeted for closure by city and federal officials. After a two-year battle and nearly $900,000 in legal fees, city officials on Monday said they have been successful in shutting down all medical-marijuana dispensaries in the city.

“Our position from the outset has been that the city’s zoning ordinance and federal narcotics laws shared an important coincidence of purpose, and that each operated independently to maintain the city of Lake Forest’s quality of life and public safety,” City Attorney Scott Smith said. “We were happy to learn that the Department of Justice agreed, and that in setting its enforcement priorities, the department recognized the long-standing and significant commitment of the City Council to preserve these values through its zoning enforcement actions.”

In the weeks before the raid, repeated attempts to contact owners of Charles Cafe for comment were unsuccessful.

That closure follows the most recent and probably most-publicized shutdown of eight dispensaries

On Oct. 6, an effort targeting eight dispensaries on the second floor of a building in a strip mall on Raymond Way proved to be the final hurdle in clearing out medical-marijuana dispensaries in the city.

The shops were targeted by federal prosecutors in a massive crackdown after continued legal wrangling, including multiple appeal efforts.

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Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2011 The Orange County Register
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