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Pot dispensary owner busted in Phelan

March 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Authorities in San Bernardino County said they are aggressively cracking down on violators of a county moratorium against selling marijuana. One business owner had to find out the hard way.For several months the California Association of Patient Collectives and Dispensaries was operating in a business complex in Phelan. The shop is protected by heavy duty security doors, barred windows and security cameras, but none of that protected the store from being shut down.

Selling marijuana in San Bernardino County is a violation of a moratorium barring all marijuana sales in the county.

On Tuesday San Bernardino County sheriff's narcotics officers served search warrants on the store, which is located just a half mile from Phelan Elementary School. Owner Kenneth Elswick was arrested.

"What they did find was marijuana that was being sold from the dispensary and a small cultivation of plants," said Jody Miller of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Many tenants in the business complex said they had issued complaints about the store.

"The suites that we have on the backside of the building and on the end started having a really strong odor," said Monica Brook, who operates a business in the same complex as the dispensary. "We had clients come in our office and asked if we were dealing pot in our office."

The alleged operator claims he was operating a medical marijuana delivery service and was not in violation of the county ordinance.