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Federal agents bring crackdown on ‘illegal’ medical marijuana dispensaries to Santa Barbara County

Medical Marijuana Club Seeks Site In Fisherman's Wharf

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Product at a typical marijuana dispensary.

The statewide crackdown on medical marijuana -- initiated late last year by the federal government -- moved north to Santa Barbara County this week, as U.S. attorneys announced they are suing, threatening and searching businesses they believe are conducting illegal pot sales.

“Federal authorities this week filed three asset forfeiture lawsuits against properties housing marijuana operations in Santa Barbara County, executed search warrants at four locations, and have sent warning letters to people associated with 10 other illegal marijuana stores in the county,” the Department of Justice said in a statement released today out of its Los Angeles office.

According to the statement, the three forfeiture lawsuits were aimed at a pot collective in Summerland which made around $840,000 in profits in 2009, a pot collective in Santa Barbara which failed to obtain its claimed nonprofit tax status, and an indoor pot farm in Santa Barbara “where substandard and unpermitted electrical equipment has been used.”