LOS ANGELES – Opening an additional front in his office’s enforcement efforts against allegedly illegal cannabis businesses and the property owners that harbor them, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that his office is seeking an injunction against a South Los Angeles commercial cannabis business for allegedly operating illegally and selling cannabis allegedly found to contain a dangerous pesticide banned for use on cannabis in California. Feuer’s office is also naming in the suit a commercial real estate broker and two of its salespeople for allegedly aiding and abetting illegal activity.
"Illegal cannabis businesses can pose serious threats to the public’s health and safety," said Feuer. "Customers patronize illegal shops at their peril, and undermine businesses who play by the rules—and whose product is tested to protect buyers' health."
"The actions taken today against this illegal cannabis business should serve as a warning to property owners, would be cannabis business operators, and anyone facilitating these illegal business practices that you will be targeted and that justice will be served," said Councilmember Curren Price, in whose district the cannabis business is located. "I want to thank our City Attorney for his leadership and continued partnership on this important matter that disproportionately affects South Los Angeles."
This is the first civil enforcement action in California of which the Office is aware to allege cannabis sold by an unpermitted location contains pesticide. It complements criminal enforcement by the City Attorney’s Marijuana Enforcement Unit and the LAPD. Since May, 2018, the City Attorney’s Office has filed 217 cases involving 172 total locations and 2 delivery services (not tied to a physical location), with 840 defendants. The City Attorney’s Office has received verification of closure of 113 locations.
The civil lawsuit names Kush Club 20, an illegal commercial cannabis business located at 5527 S. Central Avenue in South Los Angeles. The lawsuit alleges the business operates without a license and advertises an extensive menu of products using coded language to promote cheap cannabis typically found in unlicensed stores.
The lawsuit also names the property owner, 5527 S. Central LLC, and Michael Lerner, its Chief Executive Officer. It also names D/AQ Corporation, known as Daum Commercial Real Estate, Benjamin R. Spinner, an Associate Vice President at D/AQ Corporation, and James Vu, a Vice President of D/AQ Corporation, for allegedly leasing the property to Amy Sahadi Diaz in a transaction designed to aid and abet the allegedly illegal commercial cannabis activity taking place at the property by misrepresenting the actual nature of the business on the lease.