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Police Raid Two Medical Marijuana Shops; Owners Worry About Patients


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For the better part of this year, two medical marijuana dispensaries operated quietly and without much incident within a few miles of each other on M-46 in Seville Township, west of Alma.

 

 

Sometime between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday that changed.

 

 

At around the same time both Tao Holistic Care and The Maplery were raided by the Mid-Michigan Area Group Narcotics Enforcement Team, with assistance from the Gratiot County Sheriff’s Department and the State Police. 

 

 

 

Both owners said they were given the same justification for the raid: an undercover informant who had a valid medical marijuana card but was not registered as a patient with that specific dispensary’s caregiver was able to purchase marijuana three time at each business.

 

 

 

Lt. Doug Rogers of MAGNET confirmed that search warrants were executed at each business, that items were seized and that no arrests were made yet, however because the investigation is still on-going, he couldn’t provide much more detail.

 

 

“They are being investigated for criminal activity and we will turn our findings over to the prosecutor eventually,” Rogers said.

 

 

He also said that each business had been under investigation for “a couple of weeks.”

 

 

Tao Holistic Care owner Troy Bracke said he knew he was operating in a “legal gray area” by selling marijuana to registered card holders who were not registered as his patient. He said he and his wife opened the business to help people however, and the process of finding a caregiver to supply medicinal marijuana can be long and tedious under Michigan’s guidelines. 

 

 

“Technically, it could take weeks for a person to be officially registered as someone’s caregiver,” he said. “Or if a new cardholder wants to grow their own, that could take 16 weeks or longer to get medicine in that person’s hands.”

 

 

Bracke and his wife, self-proclaimed conservatives and both retired United States Air Force members, began exploring medical marijuana as a business opportunity when their son, diagnosed with ADHD, developed an eating disorder they said is caused by prescription medication.

 

 

“Marijuana helped him with his ADHD, it helped with his focus, and it helped him eat,” Bracke said. 

 

 

They said they set out to create a dispensary that “sets an example of a professional operation to prove it can be safe,” Bracke said. “We’re entrepreneurs.”

 

 

Tao Holistic Care is clean, open and airy; the waiting room has wood floors and artistic photography on the walls, a place where yoga classes are sometimes held. A person can smell marijuana, but faintly.

 

 

“The smell actually makes my wife sick, so we use air filters,” Bracke said. 

 

 

On Thursday afternoon, as Bracke and his wife sat in their store and fielded calls and visits from patients looking to buy marijuana, Bracke got emotional.

 

 

“I want to be able to help, and now I can’t,” He said. “We have six to 10 patients who have cancer. This is their medicine. Now where will they get it?”

 

 

Bracke sells Rick Simpson Oil, a marijuana product that is gaining notoriety as an alternative medicine that proponents say has cured cancer. He said his patients who are using RSO for treatment will have a hard time finding it elsewhere. 

 

 

At both businesses, police seized all marijuana products, including plants, rendering both operations essentially closed, although as of Thursday afternoon, neither had received any notice to cease and desist.

 

 

Police also took surveillance and recording equipment, patient records, receipts, cash and other items from each business.

 

 

Both Bracke and The Maplery owner Paul Eldridge said the raids took about four hours, and that officers were exceedingly professional.

 

 

Eldridge, a fourth-generation lifelong Gratiot County resident who grew up in St. Louis, said his dispensary is a family business, and he’s a family man.

 

 

“I’m local. I believe I did everything on the up-and-up. We’re out in the country, we asked Seville Township if we could be here. I was shocked by the police,” Eldridge said.

 

 

Eldridge said he has patients sign a contract, which in part states that he is considered their caregiver temporarily during the transaction.

 

 

“I 100 percent believed that was legitimate,” Eldridge said.

 

 

Eldridge also got upset talking about his patients.

 

 

“There are people who thank us every time they come here, who will have to go to Lansing now, and maybe they can’t afford to do that. We have cancer patients, veterans who have PTSD, people with chronic pain or who are missing limbs... this is their medicine,” he said.

 

 

While they wait to find out if charges will be filed or if they will face arrest, Eldridge and Bracke both expressed a desire to find a proactive solution.

 

 

“I want to know exactly what Gratiot County wants me to do, and I will work with that,” Eldridge said.

 

 

Bracke said he’s never wanted to be an activist.

 

 

“But we will be advocates for people who are suffering,” he said.

 

http://www.themorningsun.com/general-news/20150507/police-raid-two-medical-marijuana-shops-owners-worry-about-patients

Edited by bobandtorey
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Why do people open dispenses when they know they are ilegal?  I mean you dont have to put a sign up on a window to help pt's. people are getting arrested selling to pt's whether they are a despense or just a grower supplying pt's that they want to help,, Im pretty sure I would choose to remain hidden and help people, if you truly want to help people dont do stupid sheit and get arrested or have your goods taken from you!

 

I dont beleive the bs that they just want to help pt's, are they making money from it? No doubt they are making money for it, they are making money from them poor pt's that they are so worried about now, they are family mm businesses, that is b.s!

 

If you want to help people dont put a sign up, dont get paid, and dont ask me to go fund you!

 

Peace

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Maybe because the town ok's it and they want to help people who are dieing?  Compassion is not gone, some people who have dispensaries do have feelings.  I cry from time to time knowing how I could help but can't risk it.  Every once in a while I get the fuk them bug.  Where I think of sacrificing to help as many as I can but then realize the fukkers got me cause if I do it'll deplete the help I can do in the possible future.  Fuk them cops even if they were "professional".  It's not professional to follow the other pigs to a wallow that's not your domain.  I wonder if ANY cop has ever said no on principle?

 

Some people probably struggle over the idea of living well for the stress and shame they have to endure.  But does everyone have to live poverty level to help out?  People bitchhh when they make money to help with legal costs and then complain that they didn't make enough to cover legal costs by selling cheap to people in need?

Edited by Norby
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i agree with Phag,,,i've done somethings that may have been outside the rules but with good intentions...but never for profit...and you don't need to have a store front for doing that...money drives a business...they knew the risks they were taking trying to make some,now don't cry saying it was only to help the sick....i believe some have opened hoping to get grandfathered in when the law changed or changes...just my two cents,,,bp

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Not the first, and won't be the last. It is fairly common practice.

 

A group of long time posters here suggested this is the reason dispensaries are open, "because they cant get a patient to testify against them". I got no clue, but was quoting that conversation. do you recall it, not too long ago ?

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Why do people open dispenses when they know they are ilegal?  I mean you dont have to put a sign up on a window to help pt's. people are getting arrested selling to pt's whether they are a despense or just a grower supplying pt's that they want to help,, Im pretty sure I would choose to remain hidden and help people, if you truly want to help people dont do stupid sheit and get arrested or have your goods taken from you!

 

I dont beleive the bs that they just want to help pt's, are they making money from it? No doubt they are making money for it, they are making money from them poor pt's that they are so worried about now, they are family mm businesses, that is b.s!

 

If you want to help people dont put a sign up, dont get paid, and dont ask me to go fund you!

 

Peace

 

I get kinda frustrated when I see that someone says "I was just trying to help sick people."  If you just want to help sick people, there are plenty of ways to do that.  What did you do to help sick people in 2007?  My neighbor is 94 and has a hard time getting around and is old and tired and after his wife died, he pretty much lives on crap food.  Sometimes I take him a nice dinner with fresh veggies and a bowl of fruit to give him a break from microwaved frozen dinners, or I bring him a stew cooked in the slow cooker all day.  He is always grateful.  I do this just to help an old man.

 

As a caregiver, I work quite a few hours to produce meds for sick people.  And yes, I might make a few bucks a month doing it.  So I don't caregive just to help sick people.  I've given a lot of MMJ and extracts to sick people for free, because I want to help them.  But I can't imagine opening a retail store and selling meds and then claiming that I'm just trying to help sick people.  It doesn't make any sense.

 

Just be honest, "I know how to grow MJ, and I get satisfaction out of helping sick people, and I make a few extra bucks to help pay my bills."  This sort of person is far more likely to get some support from me.

 

Don't pretend to be altruistic about it. 

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I guess sick people with money who want to reward the people for helping them don't count.  People with money need help too and I applaud all the dispensaries i was able to find online and out in the open to help me and was glad for what I donated.

 

I guess doctors are scumbags because of the money they make?  Why does helping always have to be for free?  They are supposed to buy from caregivers and supply the convenience and only the caregivers can make money while they are out in the open taking the risk?  Why does everything have to be black and white, one way or the other?  I take it on a case by case basis but usually it ends up being that they were helping sick people and had meds for less than $10/g(200/z) to $20/g and if they paid a caregiver $100 for the oz and have to pay for a shop, where do they get the money so people who don't know anyone, like me, can acquire meds for up to 8 months(me and cbd) till I can get a cut and grow my own(which I got from a dispensary).  I guess I'm not worth the help?  Why does it always have to be ok if it's working for the person posting?  Please people, a little sympathy, why would anyone expect any donations from a dispensary with the way they are viewed?  I'd say certain caregivers don't want them because they are keeping their registry less than full because they don't supply exactly what their patients would want, because they are lazy and greedy and don't want a middle man so they can keep the sick peoples money themselves.  Now I don't actually think that but how can you not expect that argument if you are radical in your views of them?  Is it because the people who see them this way only think about money themselves?  Does anyone think a dispensary owner sleeps like a baby at nite?  If you want change then make them legal so that good people can run them and help people out without the money all going to lawyers?  Why isn't anyone against lawyers because that's where the money goes when tehy get caught?  Why not hate the gov't because they end up confiscating it and the wares in the end?

So much misplaced anger.  Now, I'm not saying there aren't money hungry dispensary owners, but it must be terrible to jump to that conclusion EVERY time.  It shows me envy.  Why would you hate someone for helping sick people, because they charge too much?  You just said there were ways to get caregivers, so there is a cheaper alternative ALREADY in place and sanctioned by the gov't.  These sick people CHOOSE dispensaries. 

Well so much for unity?

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I guess doctors are scumbags because of the money they make?  Why does helping always have to be for free?  They are supposed to buy from caregivers and supply the convenience and only the caregivers can make money while they are out in the open taking the risk?  Why does everything have to be black and white, one way or the other?  I'd say certain caregivers don't want them because they are keeping their registry less than full because they don't supply exactly what their patients would want, because they are lazy and greedy and don't want a middle man so they can keep the sick peoples money themselves.  Now I don't actually think that but how can you not expect that argument if you are radical in your views of them?  Is it because the people who see them this way only think about money themselves?  Does anyone think a dispensary owner sleeps like a baby at nite?  If you want change then make them legal so that good people can run them and help people out without the money all going to lawyers?  Why isn't anyone against lawyers because that's where the money goes when tehy get caught?  Why not hate the gov't because they end up confiscating it and the wares in the end?

So much misplaced anger.  Now, I'm not saying there aren't money hungry dispensary owners, but it must be terrible to jump to that conclusion EVERY time.  It shows me envy.  Why would you hate someone for helping sick people, because they charge too much?  You just said there were ways to get caregivers, so there is a cheaper alternative ALREADY in place and sanctioned by the gov't.  These sick people CHOOSE dispensaries. 

Well so much for unity?

 

Well, because dispensaries are not legal under the black and white law we (a community) wrote for sick patients.  The fact that dispensaries have and continue to lobby every city and the state on why caregivers are dangerous, completely unsafe, dangerous to children, dangerous to neighbourhoods and selling marijuana that will hurt people.   

 

 Dispensaries started this fight.  They are still trying to get rid of caregivers for their own profit. They are trying to remove home growing from the law for their own profit.

 

 Next, no one is against a profit at commercial locations if they become legal.  They simply are not.  You can go buy marijuana and clones from any corner dime bag dealer(dispensary) that you find. Anyone including thousands of others are selling marijuana illegally and I could care less.  I care because they are trying to legalize their trade on the backs of patients by stripping grow rights and forcing them into their shops, and/or trying to get rid of caregivers ability to grow and help patients because they are competition.

 

 What a physician does is legal. What an attorney does is legal.  Slight differences there Norby. Just slight....

 

Just because some police officers are "ok" does not excuse them for not fighting against the corrupt police officers.  Same goes for dispensary advocates to me.  Silence is feigned ignorance.

 

I see Hawaii just passed a dispensary bill today out of both houses.  They will become a reciprocity state in 2018.  At the cost of all caregivers losing growing privileges.

 

Yay!!!... Dispensaries win just because they only want to help patients...

 

 

And unity?  UNITY?  really? 

 

 I think unity is not screwing other people over. 

 

 Michigan may require all caregivers to have their meds tested. Why? Dispensary interests telling them so.

 

 

I mean seriously Norby.  Do not excuse dispensaries because you happen to know a couple that aren't total arseholes.  Most are still supporting the advocates out there saying horrible things about caregivers and patients inability to produce SAFE medicine and to provide SAFE access.  They say it is not possible in a home or by a family member or a close family friend.

 

Sometimes....

 

 I mean, you know how much trouble has been caused to patients and caregivers because dispensaries have said they are legal as caregivers?  I mean,.. jail for people because these people KNOWINGLY LIE about what they do.

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Sorry I didn't read the whole thing, sec 8 isn't part of the law?  And it's the dispensary lobby not ma and pa dispensaries.  Can't waste time when the first 2 sentances you spew need corrected.  Maybe I'll read it later if I'm too happy.

 

And the last sentence means sec 4 compliant is more legal than sec 8 if not prosecuted?

Maybe I won't be back for someone just wanting to start a fight.  Have a nice day.

 

Guess I was having too good of a day.  Did you read there are some donkey rectum dispensaries?  Did you see make them legal if you want good people to open them.  So divisive, "they did it first".  I just got here, can't you guys work it out or is the gov't got you divided too like the rest of society?  And the dispensaries buy from these caregivers and sell it?  Just sounds fishy to me.  I'll think about it later if I have the time.

 

This is my fault, I had you on ignore.  This time i'll try not to look again, sorry, say what you will.

Edited by Norby
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Sorry I didn't read the whole thing, sec 8 isn't part of the law?  And it's the dispensary lobby not ma and pa dispensaries.  Can't waste time when the first 2 sentances you spew need corrected.  Maybe I'll read it later if I'm too happy.

 

And the last sentence means sec 4 compliant is more legal than sec 8 if not prosecuted?

Maybe I won't be back for someone just wanting to start a fight.  Have a nice day.

 

Guess I was having too good of a day.  Did you read there are some donkey rectum dispensaries?  Did you see make them legal if you want good people to open them.  So divisive, "they did it first".  I just got here, can't you guys work it out or is the gov't got you divided too like the rest of society?  And the dispensaries buy from these caregivers and sell it?  Just sounds fishy to me.  I'll think about it later if I have the time.

 

This is my fault, I had you on ignore.  This time i'll try not to look again, sorry, say what you will.

 

 

Sec. 8 does not make something LEGAL!

 

Sec. 8 is how to avoid conviction for doing something illegal. It is called an Affirmative Defense.

 

 

And,.. Ma and Pa dispensaries?  Who do you think pays their lobbyists? Hahaha...

 

You can put your blinders on and pretend all you want.

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A group of long time posters here suggested this is the reason dispensaries are open, "because they cant get a patient to testify against them". I got no clue, but was quoting that conversation. do you recall it, not too long ago ?

They can rationalize their business model any way they want. Truth is anyone connected to these guys is either on leo radar now or singing. A lot of patients have now been exposed through these guys. How is that helping the sick?

 

The dispensaries are advertising and promoting recreational under the guise of Compasion.

 

The MSP ( marijuana safety patrol ) are infiltrating ALL of the dispenceries, they have lots of folk from other busts to use in the sting.

 

Avoid Dispensaries At ALL Cost

 

It's all about the money honey!

Edited by beourbud
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Well, because dispensaries are not legal under the black and white law we (a community) wrote for sick patients.  The fact that dispensaries have and continue to lobby every city and the state on why caregivers are dangerous, completely unsafe, dangerous to children, dangerous to neighbourhoods and selling marijuana that will hurt people.   

 

 Dispensaries started this fight.  They are still trying to get rid of caregivers for their own profit. They are trying to remove home growing from the law for their own profit.

 

 Next, no one is against a profit at commercial locations if they become legal.  They simply are not.  You can go buy marijuana and clones from any corner dime bag dealer(dispensary) that you find. Anyone including thousands of others are selling marijuana illegally and I could care less.  I care because they are trying to legalize their trade on the backs of patients by stripping grow rights and forcing them into their shops, and/or trying to get rid of caregivers ability to grow and help patients because they are competition.

 

 What a physician does is legal. What an attorney does is legal.  Slight differences there Norby. Just slight....

 

Just because some police officers are "ok" does not excuse them for not fighting against the corrupt police officers.  Same goes for dispensary advocates to me.  Silence is feigned ignorance.

 

I see Hawaii just passed a dispensary bill today out of both houses.  They will become a reciprocity state in 2018.  At the cost of all caregivers losing growing privileges.

 

Yay!!!... Dispensaries win just because they only want to help patients...

 

 

And unity?  UNITY?  really? 

 

 I think unity is not screwing other people over. 

 

 Michigan may require all caregivers to have their meds tested. Why? Dispensary interests telling them so.

 

 

I mean seriously Norby.  Do not excuse dispensaries because you happen to know a couple that aren't total arseholes.  Most are still supporting the advocates out there saying horrible things about caregivers and patients inability to produce SAFE medicine and to provide SAFE access.  They say it is not possible in a home or by a family member or a close family friend.

 

Sometimes....

 

 I mean, you know how much trouble has been caused to patients and caregivers because dispensaries have said they are legal as caregivers?  I mean,.. jail for people because these people KNOWINGLY LIE about what they do.

 

Thank you

 

 

I do tell people all the time when they say  they can sell there Oil to the store / dispensaries and make lots of money i tell them they aren't going to buy your oil or your cannabis that was grown in a basement 

 

Or made in someone basement not that you don't have great cannabis and oil but it's not going to make a difference in what i say or do 

 

I'm not sure what is going to happen any more 

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but today dispensaries do buy all the oil they get their hands on. I've sampled oil from them, garbage mostly, black, runny, chem, like pouring alcohol through my roach jar to me. The dispensar's I know of(4) gobble this syringed packed stuff up.   When they get the real deal I think they must keep it for themselves. Not a bad thing for them, like a hock shop for unwanted weed and oils. Owner snags the good stuff, slings the rest.  America the beautiful!

 

There are no controls at the dispensary. They believe that a card holder would never narc on them is all. Its worth the cash and the risk to take the chance. Have at it, call it whatever helps them sleep at night. then take their damned plea and fug us all.   

 

avoid dispensaries, find a qualified caregiver or grow your own!   why give money to a criminal enterprise making profit on marijuana when we clearly did not vote for that?  could have left that to the cartels and 7-11 parking lots.

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Thanks for the reply

 

Growing your own cannabis is not safe yet it is my own opinion maybe after the two case's come down it may be OK  to do so because when you have Leo arresting people for a posted note and or making caregivers know more then a Doctor about a pt sickness and how much cannabis they may or may not use i'll just wait a little longer 

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"It is not safe for you to grow cannabis until you actually believe it is. "   = I agree^^   You know waaay too many folks who are in trouble, and the cops must know you

by bow all over youtube and stuff. I'd sit tight if I were you, go low profile for awhile, and then do it with more respect for the law and their power than ever before, or save up enough cash to go the long haul in court if not.

 

stay safe and legal.

"loose lips sink ships"

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I do indeed feel that it is perfectly safe for me to grow my meds, in my opinion.

 

I run a  really tight ship in regards to my growing, following every little bit of the law possible. For example, I've never once allowed another into my room.

 

Once I started growing, get-togethers for example were no longer at my place.

 

I don't have a youtube channel or the like that I'd use for making videos of my cannabis, growing, smoking or otherwise, because I'm of the opinion that putting yourself out there like that is ASKING to be "found out" and put in an unsafe growing situation.

 

If you want to grow your meds safely, first try practicing being safe with what info you give out about yourself, and your grow.

 

Me keeping safe is one of the highest priorities, if not for myself, then for my patients who need to have safe access.

 

If you want to be a caregiver, and a grower past being a patient, then understand that you are taking in the responsibility to assist these people. These people are NOT plant counts, these people are NOT weight limits, they are people who are relying on YOU to provide for them the safe access they need.

 

If your irresponsibility gets you nabbed, I wont say you deserve it, only that you should have just been more careful.

 

I'd also like to point out that I personally see nothing wrong with requiring samples to be tested, why is a standard such a bad thing?

Edited by AbominableDro-Man
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