Last month, the police made an error that was not only costly to Barry Brand financially but also to his reputation. Barry Brand –president of Arroyo Verde Farms – was not the only one who was negatively impacted as a result of the actions of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s department
The police raid on Arroyo Verde Farms resulted in a confiscation from Brand and others not only of a huge amount of money ($620,000) but also valuable amounts of cannabis oil (1,800 pounds). Procan Labs (another company that lost products in this police raid) took the case to court and last month Judge Anderle ruled in favor of the operators and against the police. As such the Sheriff’s office was ordered to return everything it seized during the raid.
John Armstrong, the lawyer representing Procan Labs, said:
“Licensed cannabis operators should not be at risk of losing their business because police mistake lawful cannabis operations for illegal black-market activities. This decision shows that our courts will side with the cannabis industry when provided evidence of good-faith efforts to comply with state regulations.”
One current problem is that according to U.S. law, police have substantial powers which permit them to easily undertake raids and confiscate products and cash if they have any suspicions that a crime is potentially being facilitated. Indeed, in the last two decades, police have confiscated a staggering $36.5b in assets from companies and individuals they deem suspects. Many of these were and are never charged with a crime. It is nice to see those like Barry Brand and Procan Labs who are fighting back against these unlawful confiscations.