The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) on Wednesday suspended the license of Riverside-based producer El Rey De La Kush for allegedly diverting cannabis products out-of-state.
The LCB said that on September 16 it had been notified by the Wenatchee Police Department about a package mailed from the city via United Parcel Service (UPS) containing 4.3 pounds of cannabis. The WPD investigation at the residence uncovered 620 pounds of cannabis with traceability tags associated with El Rey De La Kush.
During the investigation, Brandi Clardy – who is listed as “other” on El Rey De La Kush’s operator license – admitted to removing cannabis from the licensed premises and distributing it to Texas where cannabis remains outlawed, the LCB said. Clardy has been operating the business since July 2020 following the death of primary licensee Juan Penaloza.
“The blatant disregard to follow the laws established by the state of Washington for a safe and regulated marijuana market warrant the emergency suspension pending cancellation of this license.” – WSLCB in a press release
Out-of-state diversion is one of the agency’s three highest priorities for industry enforcement, along with “preventing the criminal element from entering the system” and preventing cannabis access to minors.
The LCB described emergency suspensions as “an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power,” noting that this is only the second emergency suspension issued by the board this year.
The license will remain suspended for 180 days and the agency said they will seek “permanent revocation.”