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Four Arrested After Two Grand Rapids Medical Marijuana 'dispensaries' Raided Again

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Four people have been arrested after Grand Rapids police made a second raid in a year on two businesses they say are acting as medical marijuana dispensaries.

Natural Wellness Associates, on Taylor Avenue just north of Leonard Street, and Purple Med, on Plainfield Avenue NE near Spencer Street, both were raided late Thursday afternoon, police confirmed today.


Grand Rapids police Lt. William Nowicki said three employees of Natural Wellness were arrested and one at Purple Med.


Both businesses, along with the Mid-Michigan Compassion Club on Leonard Street NW near Alpine Avenue, also were raided in March 2013.


Those raids came after a state Supreme Court ruling that essentially made dispensaries illegal.


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Nowicki said last week's raids were simply a follow-up to the 2013 visits. Police claim both Purple Med and Natural Wellness were still operating against state law.


The Mid-Michigan Compassion Club closed in late October after owner Dave Overholt was arrested. He eventually pleaded no contest to a drug charge and was ordered to close his shop by the end of October.



The then-owners of Natural Wellness and Purple Med also were charged after the March 2013 raids and, last month, both pleaded guilty to marijuana delivery charges.

In their cases, two Circuit Court judges agreed to delay their sentencing until Nov. 18 to see if the Michigan Supreme Court makes a ruling that would effect their cases.



The crux of the issue is whether the businesses made sure the marijuana buyers had a "bona fide" relationship with a qualified physician. Those with Michigan Medical Marijuana patient cards must have a qualifying medical condition to allow them to use the drug.



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