Pot club purveyor soldiers on

As Ken Estes surveyed the broken glass strewn across the floor of his cannabis club Thursday, he vowed he would not be “intimidated” by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

“I will either relocate or reopen within a month,” promised the marijuana purveyor.

The club, Holistic Solutions at 216 Second St., was one of three dispensaries owned by Estes that was raided by federal agents early Wednesday morning. According to Estes, they also raided two of his growing operations, his home and the homes of three of his employees.

DEA Special Agent Casey McEnry has confirmed that several locations were searched, but cannot provide more details of the investigation because it is ongoing. She said no arrests have been made.

Estes has been in the medical-marijuana business since voters passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which legalized personal marijuana use for people suffering from ailments. However, marijuana use and sale still violates federal law, leaving cannabis clubs and local law enforcement agencies in limbo.

This is far from the first time Estes’ clubs and house have been raided, he said, but this raid has “really shaken” his employees and family. He said his 13-year-old twin boys and his 10-year-old daughter were in the house when it was raided.

Estes spent Thursday driving to each of his clubs and growing operations to survey the damage.

At the ground floor of his San Mateo business, bookshelves were lined with large glass jars with titles like “Sage,” “Orange Peel” and “Catnip.” These were untouched.

But a narrow cement stairway led down to a large cement basement. The ventilation system was ripped off the ceiling, duffel bags had been emptied and the safe had been opened. Estes said that $5,700 and 5 pounds of dried marijuana had been taken.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A lab worker from the Medical Examiner’s Office was arrested with an evidence bag of methamphetamine in August. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Audit over lab worker meth arrest finds medical examiner is missing drugs

An audit of the Medical Examiner’s Office prompted by the arrest of… Continue reading

City officials argue that the dominance of a few third-party delivery services gives them disproportionate leverage against restaurants. (Courtesy photo)
Cap on food delivery app fees may remain until indoor dining allowed at full capacity

Proposal seen as financial relief for restaurants struggling in pandemic

A voting station will be open in Portsmouth Square in Chinatown from Oct. 31 until Nov. 3 to let residents drop off ballots and provide assistance to SRO residents. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chinatown voting station to help SRO residents make their voices heard

In a bid to boost voting access for single-room-occupancy tenants in Chinatown,… Continue reading

Public observation pier at the new Judge John Sutter Regional Shoreline.
New regional park officially opens next to Bay Bridge toll plaza

The East Bay Regional Park District opened a new shoreline park Wednesday,… Continue reading

Most Read