Police bust illegal pot dispensary in South Bay

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Authorities Friday raided and shuttered an illegal marijuana dispensary near Otay Valley Regional Park, seizing its stock and arresting its staff.

The enforcement operation began about 9 a.m. at South Bay Discount Budz in the 3500 block of Main Street in Chula Vista, police said.

Inside the business, officers seized “a significant amount of marijuana and cannabis-infused products,” including items that resembled “youth-oriented products and appeared to be designed for the youth market, such as cannabis-infused gummy worms, cookies and candies,” Lt. Dan Peak said.

A loaded handgun also was confiscated inside the dispensary, and four employees were arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of cannabis for sale and later released.

Unlawful marijuana dispensaries — no legitimate ones have been permitted in Chula Vista — “pose a significant health and safety hazard to the public,” according to Peak.

“In addition to traffic congestion and crime and disorder problems, unpermitted dispensaries usually have significant building and code violations, which could be deadly in the event of a fire or other emergency that may require a quick evacuation,” the lieutenant said.

Upon entering the dispensary, officers found exits barricaded and the primary front door to the business secured with a magnetic locking system, Peak said.

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