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July 24, 2013 at 3:17 PM

DEA raids marijuana dispensaries in Washington

A sign is left on the front door of Seattle Cross  at 2315 E. John St. in Seattle after a DEA raid Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

A sign is left on the front door of Seattle Cross at 2315 E. John St. in Seattle after a DEA raid Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

Seattle Times Staff

Federal drug enforcement agents conducted raids Tuesday on several medical-marijuana dispensaries in the Puget Sound region, but they aren’t saying how many.

Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said search warrants were executed in King, Thurston and Pierce counties.

Washington state legalized adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana last fall, but marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The DEA has already sent cease-and-desist letters to more than a dozen medical marijuana dispensaries in recent months. The raids Wednesday appear to by criminal in nature, according to lawyers who represent a number of dispensaries.

Seattle medical-marijuana attorney Douglas Hiatt said the targeted dispensaries include Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross, Lacey Cross and Bayside Collective in Olympia. He said agents apparently “came in with warrants and took everything.”

Hiatt said he understood that some employees had been subpoeaned to testify before a federal grand jury.

Bayside employee Addy Norton said agents seized personal cellphones of dispensary workers and pot, but left computers and about $1,000 in cash. Agents told her the raid was part of a two-year investigation, and she said she was ordered to appear before a federal grand jury in Seattle in September.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Drug Enforcement Administration, marijuana

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