The owners of a medical cannabis club on Thornton Avenue in Newark were arrested Tuesday on charges related to running an illegitimate marijuana collective, according to a California Department of Justice spokeswoman.
The state Department of Justice and Newark police searched NBD Cannabis Collective Tuesday as part of an investigation involving four separate warrants, said Special Agent Michelle Gregory, public information officer with the Department of Justice.
The warrants were served at locations between Newark, Fremont and Salinas and are connected, Gregory said.
Bob Uwanawich, 39, of Fremont and Teddy Miller, 47, of Salinas were arrested on five counts of sales of marijuana. Both men were arrested at their residences and booked at Fremont Jail.
During the raid of NBD, agents and officers found $30,000 in cash, a shotgun and 20 pounds of processed marijuana for sale and 500 edibles that tested positive for THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is not permitted for medical use, Gregory said.
According to Gregory, the collective was not operating under the proper guidelines set forth by California Department of Public Health’s Medical Marijuana Program and Senate Bill 420. The guidelines, for example, require selling to patients, who must sign waivers.
On its website, NBD Collective states that property of NBD “is to be used for medical purposes only, as stated by California Proposition 215 and SB420.”
Owners of neighboring businesses said law enforcement officers began searching the club at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Apparently, NBD Collective has clashed with Newark officials from the start.
The city doesn't allow dispensaries and refused to issue the group a permit, but NBD opened anyway in 2009, according to a March article in the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and the dispute ended up in court.
City Manager John Becker said that at the time, the pot club ignored letters ordering it to close. He declined to comment on Tuesday, saying the investigation is ongoing.
While California's laws about medical marijuana conflict with federal drug laws, President Obama has stated that federal prosecutors are not to focus their efforts on legally operating dispensaries.
As of last spring, there were about 38 marijuana dispensaries in Alameda County, according to a San Leandro Patch article about whether that city should allow pot clubs.
The cities of Berkeley, Oakland, Albany and unincorporated Alameda County allow dispensaries.
Other area dispensaries include We are Hemp on Lewelling Boulevard in Ashland and Garden of Eden on Foothill Boulevard in Cherryland.
Currently, six cities within the county specifically prohibit pot dispensaries and cultivation. These are Alameda, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Livermore and Pleasanton.