Lake Forest: City Sues To Shutter Illegal Marijuana Dispensary

File Photo by County News Service

02.25.2022 | 8:00 PM | LAKE FOREST – City officials are suing to shutter an illegal marijuana dispensary that has brought complaints from neighboring businesses, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

The city of Lake Forest’s lawsuit against the Simple Vitamin Cannabis Dispensary, located in the 21000 block of Bake Parkway, and its owner, Ofek Basel, seeks an order declaring the dispensary a public nuisance and an injunction to permanently close it.

The dispensary, which the lawsuit claims is operating in violation of the Lake Forest Municipal Code, attracted the attention of code enforcement officials in early December 2021 when a city official issued a $100 citation for various violations stemming from the business’ illicit operation.

Even after the citation was issued city officials and a property manager continued to receive complaints regarding the smell of marijuana and presence of “sketchy” or “intoxicated and dangerous looking people” in the area.

As the investigation into the illegal marijuana business continued authorities learned that the business was being advertised by individuals handing out business cards and directions to potential customers arriving at a different marijuana dispensary that had recently been shuttered pursuant to a court order.

Several individuals, and later an investigator working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Team, confirmed that the business was illegally selling marijuana in a series of transactions over the course of several months.

Despite the city demanding that the dispensary cease and desist their illegal business activity, officials said the business was still operating illegally as late as Wednesday.

A website for the dispensary makes no mention of any plans to cease their business activities.

County News Service’s Courthouse News Reports are based on filings available through the Orange County Superior Court’s Media Access Portal. These reports are based on filings made by one party and only reflect allegations and claims made by one side of a lawsuit. Such filings are often the first step in litigation and do not reflect an order or finding of the Court.  

Miles Madison

Miles started reporting breaking news in 2015 and has been providing high-quality news video and timely reports from the Orange County area ever since. Combining his experience as a seasoned photojournalist, radio operator and sleuth, Miles provides unrivaled multimedia news reports.