Three men with guns robbed a medical marijuana dispensary in San Bernardino County that had supposedly closed nine months ago.
The county sheriff’s department received a call reporting the robbery Feb. 5 at 8:56 p.m., said department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman. According to the report, three armed men robbed the Woodland Healing Center.
“The call doesn’t say what kind of business it is, nor does it state what kind of property was taken,” Bachman said.
Woodland Healing Center is located in Crestline, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, though the report indicated the business is located in neighboring Twin Peaks. But the dispensary supposedly closed in May, after being cited by the county for at least 141 code violations.
San Bernardino has long banned medical marijuana shops in unincorporated areas. Neither Twin Peaks nor Crestline is incorporated, meaning county policy governs their residents and businesses.
It’s unclear whether the county has known about Woodland Healing Center and tolerated its existence, whether the dispensary was flying under the radar, or whether there’s some other explanation for its continued existence. But assuming the robbery was reported by an employee, that person took a great risk.
And that’s a dilemma faced by dispensary workers across the state. They’re much less likely to report crimes against them, especially if their shops aren’t sanctioned, because it will draw unwanted legal attention – and could get them shut down.
California is currently undergoing a schizophrenic struggle over the future of weed. On the one hand, local governments across the state are cracking down on medical marijuana, shutting down dispensaries and now, in some communities, banning home grows. On the other, a clear majority of Californians support legal weed and are likely to make it happen by 2016 at the latest.
Legalization could effectively end the struggle over MMJ. It could also provide greater statewide regulation to ensure the safety of dispensary workers.
As for the Woodland Healing Center robbery, Buchanan said only one person was hurt, treated for a hand injury and released.
“There were no arrests, and the call does not indicate any known suspects,” she said.