L.A. Dispensary Raided Over $66k Fee Dispute

Law enforcement raided a Los Angeles dispensary for all of its cash — including the budtender tip jars — over an appealed $66,000 fee related to the company’s inability to pay taxes in cash during the pandemic.

Full story after the jump.

A Los Angeles, California cannabis dispensary was raided by law enforcement this week over a $66,000 fee discrepancy with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), according to a High Times report. Iván Vanorwick, the founder of Jungle Boys, told High Times that the company had already received a hearing for the sum when law enforcement raided them on March 1.

Vanorwick explained that the raid included undercover police, the L.A. Police Department, sheriffs, and the Highway Patrol and the officers started “taking all the money inside the building” including cash from the budtenders’ tip jars – $174,000 in all.

“At five o’clock in the evening, we’re all sitting inside of the shop. It’s the first of the month so we’re paying all our bills. We look up at the camera and see one car, two cars, three cars, four cars, and are like ‘holy shit, they must be chasing someone inside of our building,’ you know? We watched them come up and my first thought was either they’re chasing someone inside of our building or someone that worked for us maybe has a warrant or something.” – Iván Vanorwick, via High Times

Vanorwick explained that during the pandemic, the CDTFA offices were closed, which prevented cannabis companies from paying their taxes in cash, which led to the $66,000 fee discrepancy. Ivan said the agency tried to charge the company late fees over the sum, which Jungle Boys — who had already paid $18 million in taxes in 2021 — has appealed.

“They won’t talk to our lawyer,” he said in the interview with High Times. “They won’t look at the appeal paperwork.”

CDFTA told High Times the action is their “standard procedure for cannabis businesses or any business.”

“We’re not singling out any industry or type of business,” the agency told High Times. “If you owe taxes in California, we do our best to collect what is due.”

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