Venice Pot Doctors Shut Down After State Medical Board Raid


Photo: Los Angeles Times
An investigator carries out two large bags of marijuana from the Medical Kush Beach Club, Wednesday, April 20, 2011

‚ÄčOne of the storefront pot doctors on the boardwalk in Venice was shut down Wednesday when the California state medical board and police raided three locations linked to Medical Kush Doctor.

Investigators carried out boxes and at least two large plastic bags that “appeared to contain marijuana” out of the building next to Muscle Beach that houses a doctor’s office, a smoke shop and a dispensary called the Medical Kush Beach Club, reports John Hoeffel at the Los Angeles Times.

The warrant was sealed, according to Jennifer Simoes, spokeswoman for the Medical Board of California. She wouldn’t discuss the reason for the board’s investigation of Medical Kush Docteor, but said warrants were served at 1313, 1811 and 20176 Ocean Front Walk.
Attorneys for Medical Kush Doctor rushed to the beach, but weren’t allowed on the premises. The warrant authorized a search of the offices, vehicles and “anything else that your imagination could run to,” according to Graham Berry, one of the lawyers.
Berry said the warrant also allowed authorities to seize records related to the “unlicensed practice of medicine.” “Since all these doctors appear to be duly licensed, I don’t know what they are referring to,” he said.
The raid started about 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Berry, who said by the time he showed up at 11, he found a bunch of patrol cars, a gathered crowd, news cameras and a news helicopter overhead. “Once I arrived, they pulled the sliding gate door down,” he said.
While the Medical Kush Beach Club dispensary was also shut down, “It appeared to me that the target was the doctors and the practice of writing recommendations and that the collective was a collateral casualty,” Berry said.
The Medical Kush Beach Club is operated by Sean Cardillo, who is also the registered agent for Kush Dr., the limited liability corporation running the doctor’s offices. Cardillo could not be reached for comment.
Agents seized five pounds of marijuana from the dispensary, according to Stewart Richlin, another attorney who represents Cardillo. Richlin said he expects the marijuana to be returned.
“The involved the Medical Kush Beach Club unfairly,” he said, adding that he didn’t know whether any cash or eqwuipment was seized, but that nobody was arrested in the raids.
Kush Dr. rents space and provides promotional services for medical marijuana doctors, according to Richlin. He said he believed the doctors followed California law in issuing recommendations for medicinal cannabis.
“As far as I know, it’s by the book,” Richlin said. “I’m surprised that this is happening. I have a feeling by the time the fat lady sings on this it will be lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
The raids were conducted with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, the L.A.P.D., the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which provided search dogs, according to Simoes.