ROSAMOND — Kern County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two men, Nov. 2, when they executed search warrants at two Rosamond marijuana dispensaries, seizing processed marijuana and concentrates worth more than $55,000.
Deputies from the Narcotics Unit made the seizures at The Plug, 2939 Sierra Hwy., and 5 Gramz Stop, at 2949 Sierra Hwy.
They seized 22.25 pounds of processed marijuana, with an estimated street value of $22,250, from the two locations combined, along with 1,667 grams of marijuana concentrate, with an estimated street value of $33,340.
In addition, 31 packages of edibles with an estimated street value of $310 and $5,629 in cash were taken from the two locations.
Deputies also found a small amount of cocaine, according to a statement from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
Jeremy Beverly, 20, was arrested for a misdemeanor violation of marijuana sales and a misdemeanor county ordinance violation.
Brandon Feil, 26, was arrested and booked into the Kern County jail in Mojave for a felony violation of maintaining a business for the purpose of marijuana sales, misdemeanor sales of marijuana, misdemeanor possession of a controlled drug and misdemeanor county ordinance violation, according to sheriff officials.
Both outlets have been subject to Sheriff’s raids in the past, as recently as August. 5 Gramz Stop was also subject to a raid in 2017 by a Kern County Enforcement Task Force, including members from the Kern County Public Works Code Compliance Division, Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney, County Counsel, Fire Department, Planning and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture and Measurement Standards and Public Health.
Although none of the violations were enough for officials to completely shut down the dispensaries and red-tag the buildings at that time, the action was meant to send a message to the operations.
Since that time, the county passed a ban on all commercial marijuana businesses in the unincorporated areas of the county, giving those that were considered to be operating legally at the time, one year to wind down their business activities.
The proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in Rosamond, especially in the downtown business district, has been a chief concern and complaint of residents there for several years.
The unincorporated community is one of two in Kern County that have borne the brunt of the medical marijuana dispensaries, with as many as 18 to 20 at a time in the small community.
Prior to state regulations governing the commercial marijuana industry, both medical and now recreational, or adult-use, as approved by voters and the county’s own ban, there were few effective tools available for addressing illegal dispensaries, other than through the civil courts. This process proved to be lengthy, cumbersome and many times resulted in outcomes not in the county’s favor.
With the advent of new regulations, the county is moving from civil to criminal proceedings against illegal outlets.