Last Thursday morning around 5 am, Wax On Wax and LOL dispensaries on Grand Avenue in Santa Ana were raided. The dispensaries, located in the same building, were not compliant with the city's medical marijuana initiative, Measure BB, and were thus operating illegally, according to a statement from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). The storefronts, SAPD says, were identified through community complaints, follow-up investigations and "buy operations" conducted by undercover cops. On top of not being one of the 20 collectives allowed to operate in Santa Ana, police say, WOW and LOL also failed to operate according to state medical marijuana law.
"Wax On Wax was in the front and LOL was in the back," says Martha Zapien, the landlord of the building the dispensaries were in. "[LOL] was selling kief and the actual medicine with[out a medical marijuana recommendation] and were selling to anyone who came in. The police sent undercover [officers] to check it out, so I think that's why both dispensaries got raided."
City code enforcement officers, according to the statement by SAPD, had attempted to contact the operators and Zapien numerous times since 2009 without any success. The most recent citation was received last September. Last May, the dispensaries received a cease and desist letter, but Wax On Wax and LOL continued to operate. Although Zapien recalls getting letters from the city in the past, she claims that recently she hadn't received any warnings or letters and was surprised that the collectives were raided. "This time, no, we didn't receive any notice," says Zapien. "The last time we received anything was a couple of months ago. I thought they would come then."
Since the infamous Sky High edible eating raid and the recent Costa Mesa Collective raid where the Costa Mesa Police Department failed to produce a search warrant six months after the storefront was invaded, police departments are under a microscope. SAPD's statement to the Weekly states that the raid took place outside of normal business hours, meaning that there were no patients or employees present during the raid.