L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a civil complaint against a Chatsworth pot shop after an 18-year-old customer was shot and killed on site, according to a statement released by Feuer’s office on Friday.
The shop at 9866 De Soto Ave. had allegedly been operating illegally, Feuer said, conducting commercial cannabis activity without a license. Property owners Clifford and Maureen Mickool were criminally charged for allegedly renting the space to an illegal medical marijuana business called Cush Club in 2017, and again to Super Bloom, another allegedly illegal cannabis business, last year.
The Los Angeles Police Department had apparently warned the Mickools and Super Bloom management company American Chronic Medicinals Inc. to cease operations in November, but business continued as usual.
Joseph Waary, 18, was accidentally shot on site two months later when employees — alleged gang members with criminal histories prohibiting them from possessing any gun — were smoking cannabis and playing with loaded handguns. One of the guns fired, hitting Waary in the abdomen.
Employees did not call 911, Feuer’s statement said. They allegedly cleaned up Waary’s blood and dumped him in the parking lot of West Hills Hospital — he had died by the time police arrived.
Super Bloom, now Blum Valley, started operating out of a different location in Chatsworth after the incident, this time in an unincorporated part of L.A. County, according to the statement from Feuer's office.
Several Super Bloom employees face prosecution by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office from their alleged roles in the shooting, the statement said.
The lawsuit cites violations of unfair business competition laws, health and safety codes and public nuisance rules.
“This case underscores the detrimental and even deadly effects allegedly illegal cannabis businesses can pose,” Feuer said in a statement. “Our crackdown continues even in the middle of the COVID crisis. This case should serve as a warning to those operating illegally: you may be next. And it should be a warning for customers of unlicensed cannabis businesses as well — stay away. The risks, from a product that isn’t tested for safety, to a business operation that may be dangerous, are just too great.”