Even the local cops and DEA agents seemed to question (at least jokingly) why they were raiding Otherside Farms, an upscale medical marijuana dispensary in Costa Mesa, California on Tuesday. (Costa Mesa, located in uber-conservative Orange County, is regarded as an “edge city” – a formerly rural/residential suburb that’s now a concentration of business/shopping/entertainment).
On the audio track of surveillance video shot during the Otherside Farms raid, one law enforcement officer can be heard declaring, “This place is [expletive] awesome!” A second cracked, “I would definitely buy my weed here.”
In all, authorities seized 200 plants, an undisclosed amount of cash and Otherside’s bank records. And while the joint local and federal operation raided another dispensary called American Collective, they also ignored roughly a dozen others still doing business in Costa Mesa.
Chadd McKeen, operator of Otherside Farms, was at a loss to explain to the Daily Pilot why only the pair of dispensaries was targeted, even though the U.S. Attorney from the Central District (which encompasses Orange County) had supposedly sent letters to every medi-pot dispensary in Costa Mesa warning them to shut down. U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek promised: “We (the U.S. Attorney’s office) are not singling out any of the operations in Costa Mesa.”
But despite Mrozek’s assurances, only two dispensaries were raided, including McKeen’s Otherside Farms, which McKeen regards as cleaner and more in compliance with state law than other local dispensaries. Otherside also offers cultivation classes in addition to providing medicine for patients.
The Costa Mesa police department was quick to downplay the comments made by the raiding officers, with Lt. Bryan Glass stating: “In regards to any statements, we have to listen to the audio to put them in the proper context to evaluate them.”
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