East County News Service
May 10, 2018 (Spring Valley) – The Sheriff’s department today announced it has begun serving 10-day notices on illegal marijuana dispensaries in Spring Valley and will arrest violators who don’t vacate the premises. The action comes after the Sheriff and County Planning and Development Services served over a dozen search warrants on illicit dispensaries from mid-2017 to early 2018 on Spring Valley pot shops, seizing 7,000 pounds of marijuana, five firearms and $85,000 in cash.
“Historically, dispensaries frequently re-open shortly after enforcement action, despite fines and/or criminal prosecution,” says Lieutenant Tom Seiver. “To help address this, the County’s Sheriff’s Department and Planning & Development Services have begun enforcing building code requirements that will result in securing the buildings if a dispensary does not shut down, which will make it more difficult for illegal dispensaries to continue operating.”
The departments are addressing illegal marijuana dispensaries in Spring Valley and other unincorporated areas by enforcing building code requirements involving illegal or improper occupancy in conjunction with the administrative abatement process.
According to Siever, the County has begun serving illegal dispensaries with 10-day notices, ordering property owners to remove the illegal use. If the violation is not removed and enforcement action is taken, the County will continue abatement proceedings and secure the property to ensure the building remains safe. Any person found inside the property after the County secures the building will be arrested.
“In the past few weeks, three illegal dispensaries complied with the order before being abated. A fourth illegal dispensary has already been served and must comply by next week,” says Siever, who adds, “The County anticipates continued compliance as we enforce the securing of structures without a permitted use.“