HAYWARD The Local Patients Cooperative marijuana dispensary was raided by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency this morning as part of a yearlong investigation that also involved Hayward police.
"The distribution of marijuana is a federal offense, and this place was making millions of dollars," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Chapman.
Along with the Foothill Boulevard marijuana club, three additional residences in Hayward were raided and searched, authorities said. Northbound traffic on Foothill, between B and C streets, was halted during the police activity.
The arrest complaint, which will be unsealed later in the day, will provide more details as to why the club drew the attention of federal authorities, said DEA spokeswoman Casey McHenry.
"I'm not sure how the DEA became involved," said Hayward Police Capt. Phil Ribera. "At some point during their investigation, they contacted us and requested our help. We provided information from several observations we made concerning cultivation at the site and amounts of marijuana."
The dispensary, one of two in Hayward located on the same block on Foothill Boulevard, was to be closed by local authorities at the end of the month for breaking its three-year agreement for operating within the city. City officials said the cooperative had more than 3 pounds of marijuana on the premises at one time.
Hayward police inspected the club in September and said they observed 30 pounds of marijuana, 10 times more than the city allows. Officers returned in November and said they observed 200 pounds.
Sticking to the 3-pound rule was impossible because of the volume of patients the club served, an employee of the dispensary said in a previous interview earlier in the week.
Alejandro Alfonso can be reached at (510) 293-2469 or firstname.lastname@example.org