Fight over free sample at dispensary ends in injury, arrest
Here in Southern California, cannabis is legal across the entire state, but individual cities and counties still have the right to keep dispensaries from opening in their vicinity. These limitations mean that there are still quite a few unlicensed dispensaries around — places where people have simply set up shop without getting the required paperwork to do so. While many of these places operate without issue (though they likely aren’t paying taxes on their sales at all, and their products aren’t always as clean or well-tested as licensed places), sometimes there can be problems, as happened last weekend at a dispensary in Chula Vista, near San Diego.
An unlicensed dispensary there sent out a text message to its customers about a free sample, and a man showed up hoping to grab some free product. Unfortunately, he had to buy something first, and when he was told about that, a fight broke out, resulting in him being smacked on the back of the head by a security guard. When all was said and done, the dude ended up in the hospital, the assailants were arrested, and presumably the unlicensed dispensary got the attention of law enforcement (though it’s not clear what the consequences are — most of the time, the place is raided and everything gets confiscated, and then the dispensary re-opens a week or so later, sometimes even in the same building).
Crazy story! Be careful out there, people! If you’re running an unlicensed dispensary, maybe keep a lower profile (and you should definitely start the process to get licensed, and/or work with your community to lift restrictions around setting up shop). And if you head to a dispensary to get a free sample, just know in advance that you might have to buy something first!