EXCLUSIVE: Inside Bakersfield’s marijuana dispensary raids

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Bakersfield City Attorney Ginny Gennaro has made it her mission to shut down every last dispensary in the city.

“When you promise to do something in my book, you do it,” Gennaro explained. 

That promise was on display Monday morning.

We rode with Gennaro and Bakersfield Police as they carried out two more dispensary raids.

The first was Green Door Cafe on S.H Street. 

The dispensary had agreed to close in an October settlement with the city. 

“[They] actually did close for about a week and then reopened- in complete violation of their settlement agreement,” said Gennaro.

So in came Bakersfield police.
 
To protect internal strategies, we did not film the moment police entered guns drawn.

Bakersfield police staged at the entrance to the dispensary with a battering ram and had to force entry as people ran out the back. 

The smell of marijuana carried to the sidewalk.

Undercover officers seized and collected pounds and pounds of marijuana product.

Code enforcement and police believed the property was likely stealing electricity.

Across town, Seaweed Collective on Brundage Lane met a similar fate.

Marijuana products were bagged, while code enforcement tallied violations.

“Is this really where medicinal marijuana is supposed to be sold? Because that’s certainly not my vision of what the Compassionate Use Act or Prop 64 was sold to the public,” said Gennaro.

There have been over 15 raids like these since October. 

A sign of progress in the eyes of the city.

When we sat in Gennaro’s office in August there were over 60 dispensaries operating in the City of Bakersfield?

“By the end of January I feel cautiously optimistic there will be less than three,” said Gennaro.

Bakersfield Police said today it seized nearly $12,000 in cash during today’s raids.

Meanwhile Kern County is still determining what its enforcement strategy will look like after voting in the fall to ban the marijuana industry as well.

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