It’s bad news for California’s cannabis concentrates today, as at least six properties related to a nonprofit extracts company were raided in a co-ordinated sweep by the Santa Rosa Police Wednesday. The raids, which have resulted in the arrest of at least nine individuals, were all connected to Care By Design, a company that produces a variety of medical marijuana products including the AbsoluteXtracts brand of vape pens, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Investigation of the concentrate companies began only days ago when the local District Attorney’s Office was tipped off that the company was conducting illegal practices. CBD claims the tip came from a disgruntled former employee.
Unlike most hash oil labs that are raided by police in California, CBD does not appear to make their concentrates with volatile chemicals such as butane. CBD and Absolute products are both advertised as making their products with a “supercritical CO2 method.”
While California state law outlaws the “manufacture… by chemical… of any controlled substance,” and CO2 is technically a chemical, Cali popo tend to generally target those who pose a potential danger to neighbors with unsafe volatile BHO labs.
Care By Design and the police have had a back and forth over the legality of the raids. While Nick Caston of CBD told the Press Democrat that his company “set the gold standard” for cannabis extracts and was “pursuing” a proper city permit to produce medical marijuana products. Caston elaborated: “We produce medicine as determined by the voters in the 1990s, and we do it with the best practices of any company in the state.”
But local police doesn’t see things the same way. “They’ve done nothing official that we could find that makes any of this a legitimate operation,” said Santa Rosa Police Lt. Michael Lazzarini. “There’s nothing to indicate that anything here is in line with any regulations in the handling of chemicals or processes, code enforcement, city building permit, the whole list.”
Caston countered in a statement quotedin SF Weekly that, “This law enforcement action is unprecedented, unfortunate, and has the potential to deprive thousands of profoundly sick patients of much needed medicine. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement in an effort to resolve this as quickly as possible, and hope to have our several dozen employees in Sonoma County back to work this week.”
Photo via Flickr user G20 Voice