DEA raids marijuana dispensaries in South Sound

130725_tacoma_cross_lgFederal agents on Wednesday raided several medical marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound region.

“Several search warrants were executed today involving marijuana storefronts in King, Thurston and Pierce counties,” Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said Wednesday. She declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Washington state legalized adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana last fall, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

Seattle medical marijuana attorney Douglas Hiatt said the targeted dispensaries included Tacoma Cross, Seattle Cross and Bayside Collective in Olympia.

The doors of Tacoma Cross at 2409 Pacific Ave. were locked with a deadbolt Wednesday and a hastily scrawled sign in the window said, “Sorry. Closed Until Further Notice.” A stream of customers showed up, peered in the windows and walked on.

Tacoma Cross formerly operated on Commerce Street and moved June 1 to the Pacific Avenue location.

The dispensary’s owner, James C. Lucas, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a charge of solicitation to manufacture a controlled substance. He could not be reached Wednesday.

In Olympia, the shelves at the Bayside Collective were picked clean of marijuana after federal agents raided the dispensary with guns drawn. The raid was the only one in Thurston County, according to local dispensary owners.

Dispensary employee Casey Lee said the agents served him with a search warrant and seized about a dozen plants. They also took marijuana set aside for patients. He said the seized marijuana totaled about a quarter pound.

The DEA agents took his and another employee’s cellphones, Lee said. They made no arrests and left his computers alone.

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