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Pot dispensary sues El Dorado County over raid

The Pure Life Collective has been shuttered since the Nov. 17, 2014, raid by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, which resulted in the arrest of dispensary operator Kelly Chiusano. No charges have been filed.
The Pure Life Collective has been shuttered since the Nov. 17, 2014, raid by the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, which resulted in the arrest of dispensary operator Kelly Chiusano. No charges have been filed.

The former operator and members of a Diamond Springs marijuana dispensary are suing El Dorado County to recover seized marijuana, medical records and financial documents taken in a Sheriff’s Department raid last year.

The Pure Life Collective has been shuttered since the Nov. 17, 2014, raid, which resulted in the arrest of dispensary operator Kelly Chiusano. No charges have been filed.

The dispensary’s lawsuit, filed by a prominent Bay Area lawyer specializing in medical marijuana, charges that the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department wrongly raided Pure Life, which had been granted a permit to operate by the county’s Community Development Agency.

The lawsuit, filed last week by Sausalito lawyer Zenia Gilg and law partner Heather Burke, charges that the Sheriff’s Department “wasted public resources” by having undercover officers with physicians’ recommendations purchase medical marijuana at the dispensary and through its delivery service.

The lawsuit in El Dorado Superior Court also blasted the Sheriff’s Department for obtaining a search warrant to put a tracking device on Chiusano’s car.

“The data from the GPS tracker evidenced only that Mr. Chiusano is a devoted father and husband. His travel consisted essentially of dropping his son off at school, going to work and at the end of the day to his home, where he remained through the night,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit noted that Chiusano also made trips to the bank. A sheriff’s investigator claimed in an affidavit that Chiusano was “making cash deposits from ill-gotten gains from the sales of marijuana.”

The lawsuit claims the dispensary was legally run as a not-for-profit operation under California’s medical marijuana laws and with permission of El Dorado County.

Call The Bee’s Peter Hecht, (916) 326-5539.

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