A Washington, D.C. cannabis company is suing the city claiming police seized more than $700,000 in cash during raids last year, News4 reports. Following each raid at Mr. Nice Guys DC, the charges were dropped, or the attorney general chose not to prosecute.
In all, co-owner Gregory Wimsatt said police have seized “close to about $800,000 in product and cash.” However, the business has also faced losses from product damage during the raids.
The lawsuit seeks $750,000 in damages.
While cannabis is legal for adult use in Washington, D.C., there is no legal mechanism for sales which has been repeatedly blocked by the so-called “Harris Rider” – named after Republican Rep. Andy Harris – which has been included in omnibus budgets since 2014 and prevents legal cannabis sales in the District. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and the City Council have attempted to regulate the industry but were stymied each time by Congressional inaction as federal lawmakers set the city’s budget.
Businesses, therefore, operate in the “gifting” gray market; Mr. Nice Guys sells customers non-cannabis products, such as art, and includes a free cannabis gift.
In April, The D.C. Council voted down an emergency measure to ramp up enforcement against the District’s unregulated cannabis businesses.
Mr. Nice Guys co-owner Damion West told News4 that the business operates “in a gray space that they created” and that they’ve “done nothing wrong.”
Charles Walton, an attorney representing Mr. Nice Guys told the Washington Post that the “goal is to have them produce the information associated with the chain of custody of that money, and to just return it.”
The lawsuit focuses on two raids that occurred on the same day in August 2021, when police with warrants searched two Mr. Nice Guys locations.
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