Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer Friday announced his office filed a civil complaint against a Chatsworth cannabis dispensary for allegedly operating illegally, and it was the site of where an 18-year-old customer was fatally shot.
“At every turn, this case underscores the detrimental and even deadly effects allegedly illegal cannabis businesses can pose,” Feuer said. “Our crackdown continues even in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. This case should serve as a warning to those operating illegally, you may be next.
“And it should be a warning for customers of unlicensed cannabis businesses as well, stay away,” Feuer said. “The risks from a product that isn’t tested for safety to a business operation that may be dangerous are just too great.”
According to the City Attorney’s Office, in 2017, Clifford and Maureen Mickool were criminally charged for allegedly renting their Chatsworth property at Mickool Plaza at 9866 De Soto Ave. to an illegal medical cannabis business called Cush Club.
In 2019, they again leased the property to an illegal cannabis business called Super Bloom, managed by American Chronic Medicinals Inc., a California corporation led by CEO Anne Frank, according to Feuer.
Last November, the Los Angeles Police Department notified both Super Bloom and Clifford Mickool that the unlicensed commercial cannabis activity was illegal and must stop. But Super Bloom allegedly continued to operate and the Mickools allegedly continued to allow the businesses to operate.
Two months later, 18-year old Joseph Waary of Chatsworth went to Super Bloom to buy cannabis. At the check-in window in the shop were two 19-year-old employees, alleged gang members who were possibly acting as security guards, according to Feuer.
They allegedly were smoking marijuana and playing with loaded handguns, even though their criminal histories prohibited them from possessing any gun. One of the guns fired, striking Waary in the abdomen.
Instead of calling 911, employees allegedly cleaned up Waary’s blood and continued selling cannabis while other employees piled Waary into a car and then dumped him in the parking lot of West Hills Hospital. By the time police arrived, Waary had died, Feuer said.
Shortly after the shooting, the business allegedly relocated in Chatsworth and reopened as Blum Valley, where it continues operating Friday.
City News Service has reached out to Blum Valley and is awaiting a response to the allegations in the lawsuit.
The city attorney’s lawsuit seeks to enjoin Clifford and Maureen Mickool, American Chronic Medicinals Inc. and Anne Frank from engaging in any unlicensed commercial cannabis activity, in any capacity, and prohibit them from establishing, owning, operating or working for an unlicensed cannabis business.
It also seeks to prohibit them from renting, leasing or otherwise allowing unlicensed commercial cannabis activity on any property in Los Angeles. The lawsuit seeks penalties, as well as restitution to anyone ripped off through the unfair competition alleged in the complaint.
Several Super Bloom employees are being prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as a result of their alleged roles in this incident.
Since May 2018, the City Attorney’s Office said it has filed 558 cases involving 392 total locations and six delivery services with 2,032 defendants and has received verification of closure of 254 locations.
Additional information on cannabis regulations, including how to get licensed or submit a complaint about unlicensed commercial cannabis activity, can be found at the city’s Department of Cannabis Regulation website, cannabis.lacity.org.
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