Federal agents with the help of Murrieta police raided a medical marijuana dispensary this week.
At about 10 a.m. Thursday, Drug Enforcement Administration agents served a federal warrant at Greenhouse Cannabis Club, 26151 Jefferson Ave. Suite A.
The warrant was served without incident, DEA Special Agent and Spokesperson Sarah Pullen confirmed, in an email to Patch.
"No arrests were made and DEA seized approximately 22 pounds of edible products containing marijuana, 11 pounds of dried marijuana and 21 plants," Pullen said.
The Temecula home of Eric McNeil, who is the director of Greenhouse Cannabis Club, was also searched, according to the warrant obtained by Patch. The home is located in the 40100 block of Medford Road.
Neither McNeil nor an attorney representing him could be reached Friday for comment about the raids.
Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad confirmed four special enforcement Murrieta police detectives assisted federal agents in the warrant service.
"The U.S. Department of Justice (and) U.S. Attorney have stated on many occasions they are committed to the enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act," Conrad said, in an email to Patch.
"Persons who are in the business of cultivating, selling and distributing marijuana are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, and the federal government can pursue criminal and civil actions against those persons. In this case, the DEA and U.S. Attorney have chosen to pursue these actions," Conrad said.
Marijuana can legally be obtained and used for medical reasons in the state of California, however a Murrieta city ordinance forbids medical marijuana dispensaries.
McNeil in previous comments has stated Greenhouse Cannabis Club was not operating as a dispensary but as a cooperative.
"A dispensary is a place where you go and purchase products; a co-op is a club where members bring products," McNeil told Patch in January after he relocated the operation to Murrieta from Lakeland Village near Lake Elsinore.
"We are allowed to take donations and those go toward (overhead)," McNeil said.
According to the federal warrant, on Feb. 8 a detective with the Riverside Police Department entered Greenhouse Cannabis Club and purchased one gram of marijuana for $20. He presented a medical marijuana registrant card for the purchase, the warrant stated.
The warrant also went into detail about Murrieta police surveillance of Greenhouse Cannabis Club. On one occasion, a client was stopped by an officer as he left. He was initially stopped for using his cellphone while driving. While speaking with the officer, he admitted to purchasing marijuana at the club, the warrant stated.
The city of Murrieta has been embroiled in a court battle with Greenhouse Cannabis Club since it opened. On Feb. 17, that stipulated no more than two patients could be served at the location.
When McNeil—on the advice of his attorney—continued to operate, city attorneys filed a contempt of court charge against him. A contempt of court charge has also been filed against Temecula Valley Food Service, Inc., the owner of the Jefferson Avenue building, court records show.
Both were due in court July 25 for a hearing on the contempt charges.
McNeil has also been issued daily fines for operating despite a city ordinance.