A spontaneous raid on a leading CBD production facility in Santa Rosa has resulted in frustration for local law enforcement groups and the legal marijuana community. It all started when Care By Design, a company that manufacturers medicinal CBD products, was wrongfully tipped off by a resentful ex-employee, who used to work for the business.
“The company will work closely with government officials and law enforcement to swiftly resolve the investigation and address any and all concerns regarding our operations. We maintain our strong commitment to operating with full transparency,” said Nick Caston, spokesman for CBD Guild.
Care By Design was accused of using butane to create potent cannabis concentrates, such as shatter and wax. The brand specializes in non-smokeable CBD mediums, including gels and oral sprays. When police and the DEA broke into the facility (a total of 100 officers), they were on the hunt for meth lab-type operations. Instead, they found high-pressure carbon dioxide extraction machines used for production. Despite coming out empty-handed, the organization temporarily shut down the business. Law enforcement agents also seized computers, payroll documents and financial paperwork during the ordeal.
Dennis Hunter, Care By Design operator and co-founder, was arrested by cops at the end of the raid, with bail set at $5 million. He was charged with chemical drug manufacturing and city code violation offenses; which authorities were unable to provide support for. Hunter was eventually released without criminal charges attached to his name. Bail prerequisites were also dropped by authorities, and the Care By Design co-founder is currently in the process of commencing operations in the same facility. Rohnert Park, owner of Absolute Xtracts and Care By Design, was also arrested by local authorities for previous charges related to evading arrest.
Hunter has a rough history with law enforcement groups that dates all the way back to 2002. The canna-operator was federally warranted for illegal cannabis cultivation in Humboldt County. The facility hosted over 12,000 plants, which at that time was the largest bust in the region.
Protests and Backlash
After the raid, the local cannabis community showed their support for the CBD production facility by protesting at the Sonoma County courthouse. There was also a massive letter campaign that was submitted to officials who were in charge of handling the matter. The incident caught the attention of several prominent figures in the area. Martin Lee, director of Project CBD, came out and spoke for and on behalf of the supporters. Most of the individuals rallying in front of the courthouse were medical marijuana patients using Care By Design’s products.
“My focus at this time is to determine whether any laws have been violated which would endanger public safety or the environment,” explained Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch. Ravitch showed her support for the legal marijuana facility, along with Santa Rosa attorney Joe Rogoway, a representative for CBD Guild.