Police shut down an illegal marijuana operation selling the drug to people, medical card or not, out of a gift shop.
Three people were arrested in connection with the operation which was running out of an Oakland area gift shop on 55th street and Martin Luther King.
“They were selling marijuana on referral to people who had a marijuana card and people who did not,” Oakland police lieutenant Chris Bolton told KTVU.
Bolton said three people were arrested, including one convicted felon who was armed when police barged into the store Wednesday.
Officers found 28 pounds of pot and hashish inside the gift shop.
Hours after the bust, a young man knocked on the door of the storefront which announces itself with a simple sign, “gift shop”, painted in black letters over the door. The 25-year-old man from Oregon identified himself as Frankie Smiley.
Smiley told KTVU he had bad arthritis and was hoping to buy some pot from the store, which he thought was a medical marijuana dispensary.
“It’s pot. Who cares about pot?” Smiley said.
Oakland police says it cares about pot because it attracts criminal elements, which are looking to either steal the pot or the proceeds.
“We do not prioritize marijuana investigations or arrests. However, there is connectivity and association with firearms and group activity in this case and others like it,” Lt Bolton explained, noting that the customers in the gift store were not cited Wednesday.
KTVU spoke to owners of a convenience market across the street about the bust. The owner said he was somewhat sorry to see the gift shop close because he got a lot of walk-in businesses from the foot traffic it generated. He said there had never been any problems at the gift shop which was just across the street and had been in business for about six months.