After a cannabis cultivation business “had done its due diligence in acquiring local zoning approval and a temporary operations permit” to be able to cultivate cannabis, Detroit police decided to arrest six workers at the facility, confiscate their cultivation equipment, and seize their corporate funds. Now, the company is considering filing a lawsuit against the law enforcement agency. 

On May 29th, Detroit police obtained a search warrant that would permit them to enter and search a property that belonged to Viola Extracts. Upon entering the premises, they arrested six employees and confiscated more than 100 lbs. of cannabis with the help of U.S. Border Patrol Agents. They also charged the workers with controlled substance violations “involving the delivery of manufacture of 45 kilograms or more of marijuana or 200 or more plants.” 

Now, according to Al Harrington, who is a Viola Brands investor, the company had acquired all the permits necessary to operate their business legally. So, where did the company go wrong? Apparently, the company didn’t do anything wrong and according to its attorney, the “Detroit police did not do the legwork to confirm the business’s permits and records prior to conducting the raid.” It appears as though Viola Extracts may have gotten caught in a “gray area” in the market, according to the Cannabis Business Times.

The reason the company was faced with such an unfortunate encounter with police is that while they applied for their local license to operate in the city of Detroit, they also applied for their state license, although that had not yet been approved. However, “local city councils may grant a temporary permit” during this time despite the lack of a state license. And that is where the company’s attorney says there was an issue. According to him, “the issue really is: what is the definition of ‘temporary operation’?”

Because that may not be clear to all local law enforcement agencies in the state, “Viola Extracts found itself in the legal crosshairs of multiple local agencies that hadn’t communicated the extent of Viola’s business presence in the city.” 

Thankfully, the company was able to walk away from the mess without a criminal record and their business still standing. According to the news outlet, the Michigan judge who had been assigned to the case dismissed the criminal charges and the company was able to collect back the $500,000 that had been seized along with the six cars that were taken. Unfortunately, the source said they were still waiting to receive their cultivation equipment and are even considering filing suit. Despite the trouble these employees had to go through along with the costs they incurred to have their attorney represent them in the case, they also lost profits as their plants were ruined.

What this case shows us is that sometimes, no matter if you are following the rules and abiding by the laws, you can still find yourself in trouble and facing criminal charges. Sometimes, people are charged with a crime just because they were at the wrong place and at the wrong time. But, in other instances, a person may be arrested simply because an officer wanted to believe they committed an offense. Either way, if you are ever faced with a wrongful arrest or conviction in Lansing, MI, it is vital that you contact criminal defense lawyer Stuart R. Shafer to ensure you are properly represented.

Not only can our firm protect your interests but also help prove your innocence so that the criminal charges can be dropped. Therefore, if you were charged in East Lansing, Okemos, Dewitt, St. Johns, Grand Ledge, or Charlotte, give us a call so that we can schedule a consultation and discuss the many ways in which our firm can help you get through this difficult time.

You can reach the Law Offices Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906


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