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Illegal Marijuana Dispensaries Continue To Operate In San Diego County

A marijuana plant is shown in this undated photo.

Photo by Kris Arciaga

Above: A marijuana plant is shown in this undated photo.

GUEST: Capt. Marco Garmo, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

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Under Proposition 64, local governments can choose to ban recreational cannabis businesses. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to do just that almost two years ago but enforcing the ban has been easier said than done.

San Diego Sheriff's Capt. Marco Garmo, who oversees the Rancho San Diego substation, said the highest concentration of unpermitted dispensaries in the county is in the Spring Valley area, where 14 shops were shut down last year and seven others are still operating illegally.

Law enforcement officials have said that closing illegal shops has been a challenge because they can often re-open in a matter of hours despite fines and potential criminal charges. But last year the county started taking a new approach in its fight against illegal dispensaries.

As we continue to review the first year of legal cannabis sales, Capt. Garmo talks about the challenges in enforcing the county's ban on marijuana dispensaries.


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