L.A. Sues Illegal Pot Shop That Sold Tainted Weed

Consumers of cannabis sold at an unlicensed pot shop in South L.A. have inadvertently been getting a little fungicide with their untested weed. Now, the city is cracking down. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said Wednesday he’s suing the dispensary, Kush Club 20, for millions of dollars in civil penalties. The dispensary has also been forced to close up shop.

Kush Club 20’s products were shown to be tainted with a chemical called paclobutrazol, considered a Type II toxic substance by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s a reminder of the risk consumers take when they don’t ensure a retailer is properly permitted.

“Customers patronize illegal shops at their peril, and undermine businesses who play by the rules — and whose product is tested to protect buyers’ health,” said Feuer in a statement.

“We apparently as a community care a lot about whether our romaine lettuce is contaminated, and we should. We care a lot about whether we can safely eat at Chipotle,” he added. “Marijuana buyers should at least exercise that same degree of caution.”

The City Attorney’s office has filed more than 200 criminal cases against illegal pot shops in the past year, but this marks the first time it has gone after a dispensary’s wallet through civil penalties. City leaders and legal marijuana advocacy groups hope the high price tag will be a powerful deterrent.


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