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Federal Agents, Police Bust Local Businesses | Crime

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Federal Agents, Police Bust Local Businesses
Crime

LAS VEGAS -- Federal agents and Metro police Wednesday raided businesses around the Las Vegas valley that are associated with medical marijuana.

A joint task force with agents from the DEA, IRS, and Metro took evidence from The Happiness Consultants, THC at 810 E. Sahara on Wednesday. That business is licensed as a medical marijuana consultant business, which means they can help people apply for medical marijuana. The agents took out boxes of paperwork.

The clinics have been under scrutiny for months. Earlier this year, the 8 News NOW I-Team went undercover and staff member at THC told our photographer that a doctor on site would have no problem writing a recommendation for marijuana even though there was no medical justification.

Agents also raided Organic Releaf at 8545 S. Eastern Ave. Michael Konowalski owns a nearby business. "It was SWAT and the masks and the whole circus all around," he said. "You could see them. They were carrying boxes. They were carrying documents, the tapes."

Organic Releaf owner Raymond Medlin says agents stormed in, busting out the glass front door and seizing several items. "They went through the place," Medlin said. "They took everyone's medicine. They took the files, the computers."

On the other side of town, authorities raided James Parsons' shop, the Medical Cannabis Consultants of Nevada. They also raided his home. "As soon as I go out, (I see) 30 FBI SWAT guys with their M-9s or whatever they have," Parsons said. "They asked us to get on the ground. Basically, they just handcuffed us, while they took everything."

Parsons had no problems showing 8 News NOW where he grows his medical marijuana. He questions why authorities carried out the raids. According to the search warrant exclusively obtained by 8 News NOW, authorities were looking for marijuana plants, paraphernalia, growing products, books, records and invoices.

Read the warrant issued for James Parson's home

"I'm legally allowed to produce my medicine here. What I was doing here was not illegal," Parsons said. "If I'm doing something illegal, why didn't they take my equipment? All they did was purposely inconvenience me."

Both Parsons and Medlin plan to re-open as soon as possible. They say they want peace of mind that more raids aren't coming. "It's odd," Medlin said. "At the same time, something needs to be fixed. It can't be such a gray area." "The biggest problem there was is it legal or not? That's the ultimate question," Konowalski said.

Under Nevada law, there are no legal ways to actually buy or sell marijuana, even for medical purposes. Dispensaries are illegal. Those who need the drug for a medical condition must grow it themselves.

Police also raided Nature's Way at 1591 Desert Inn Road and the Salvation Haven-Cannabis Dispensary at 2255 Renaissance Drive.

There were no arrests, but the U.S. Attorney's Office said the federal search warrants will stay sealed.

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