Jeff Joseph, the operator of Organica, was charged with 24 felonies, including selling, transporting and possessing marijuana, and a court commissioner set bail at $520,000, more than five times the amount his lawyer requested, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Joseph pleaded not guilty and his attorney said the prosecution was “politically driven” and that his client was singled out as a “very high-profile individual” to stand up for all dispensaries. But the DA’s office maintains that dozens of cases have been filed, not just the one against Joseph.
According to The Times article, Cooley and Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich insist that state law allows collectives to grow marijuana and recoup their costs but not sell it over the counter, a practice that is widespread. Both have sought to pursue cases that could force the courts to settle the debate.
The Times also reported that in court Monday, prosecutor John Harlan said Organica was “an illegal drug-dealing operation” that sometimes made more than $100,000 profit in a month.
“He is an ongoing threat to the community,” Harlan said.
For more, read the entire L.A. Times article.