Judge Orders Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office to Return Assets Seized From Pot Farm

Last month, a Santa Barbara County superior court judge ordered the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office to return 1,800 pounds of cannabis oil and $620,000 in cash seized from a local marijuana operator. The record shows the operator “committed no crime, much less intentionally committed a crime,” Judge Thomas Anderle said of the Arroyo Verde Farms raid.

The products and cash were seized from Arroyo Verde Farms. But the oil had already been sold to Procan Labs. Both sued the county.

According to Marijuana Business Daily, the sheriff’s office “tried to persuade Judge Anderle that the assets should be forfeited to them because they were connected to an ongoing criminal investigation into the farm.” The judge dismissed that contention and said Procan Labs would be forced to close if the assets were not returned. The company has already slashed staff by 40% as a result of the hardship it suffered.

“This decision shows that our courts will side with the cannabis industry when provided evidence of good-faith efforts to comply with state regulations,” said Procan Labs’ attorney John Armstrong.

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