On March 15, and March 16, 2018, deputies from the Vista Patrol Station’s Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving Team (COPPS) served search warrants on two illegal marijuana dispensaries. The first location was at the Vista Wellness Center, 1151 S. Santa Fe and the second was at the Vista Patient Care, at 1840 West Drive, Vista. Because of fortified doors, armed security and anticipation of active refusal to allow entry of the premises, the Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail was used to help enter the premises.
The search warrants were the direct result of numerous complaints from area businesses coupled with violations of the Vista Development Code, California Building, Fire, Mechanical and Electrical Codes. Inside the location, deputies located a large amount of marijuana, marijuana edibles, marijuana paraphernalia as well as items used in the sales of marijuana and evidence of numerous Building and Fire Code violations. Due to the immediate hazards to the life safety of the occupants, a Vista Building Official has posted a “red tag” notice and secured the building against entry. A security guard armed with a stolen handgun was arrested at the first location and an employee was arrested at the second location. He was a convicted felon in possession of a stun gun and body armor. Both employees were arrested and booked in the
Vista Detention Facility for Penal, Health & Safety, and Vista Municipal Code Violations; the investigation is on-going.
Although Proposition 64 went into effect on January 1, 2018, medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries are banned in the city of Vista and are not permitted to operate. All new and existing illegal marijuana dispensaries in the city of Vista are subject to enforcement action.