Eagle Rock pot shop landlords threatened with federal action

Photo from Flickr

The owners of at least Eagle Rock buildings with marijuana stores could lose their properties under federal lawsuits filed today. The government filed forfeiture lawsuits against three Colorado Boulevard properties as part of a coordination action-including the serving of search warrants-today against more than 70 pot shops, including a store in Silver Lake. The federal complaint against the three Eagle Rock properties claims the landlords knowingly allowed the shops to sell marijuana in violation of federal laws.

The outlets include:

  • The Together for Change Collective, 2501 Colorado Boulevard.
    “During an LAPD investigation against a prior store at the same location in May 2011, officers seized more than 500 marijuana plants and over $5,000 in cash from the store, as well as $14,912 in cash and a semi-automatic rifle,” said the Department of Justice.
  • House of Kush, 1632 Colorado Boulevard.
    The store and property owner are the subjects of a civil abatement action filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office,” said the Department of Justice.
  • ER Collective, 1121 Colorado Boulevard
    LAPD executed a search warrant in June 2010 on a prior store at the same location and seized approximately 11.4 kilograms of marijuana, 4.5 kilograms of hashish, liquid THC, and $17,000 in cash, said the Department of Justice.

Some of the earlier forfeiture lawsuits against marijuana store landlords have been settled without the loss of property, said a Department of Justice spokesman. In those cases, the stores were closed, the landlords gave up the rent earned from the shops and agreed never to lease the space to marijuana-related businesses in the future.

Here are copies of the lawsuits (in PDF format) filed against the three Eagle Rock properties today:


  1. charles herman-wurmfeld

    we must end this drug war. wars cost money we no longer have, and command police action we can no longer afford. the sane way out as many people see it is to legalize and tax these plant medicines.

  2. If they want to take the property, they can and will. If the landlord gets to keep it, that is simply the Feds feeling generous. In the past, they have seized entire freighter ships after finding a single roach from a joint on board — and the appellate court upheld it, despite the disparity between offense and forfeiture!

    They very well might press the matter now — to put fear in the hearts of any landlord who considers leasing to a medical marijuana shop. Time will tell.

  3. i am against the drug war and all for the legalization of pot. the problem is that these businesses have been exploiting a loophole and it was bound to close at some point. they need to focus on legalizing pot at a federal level instead of exploiting the grey areas of a law intended for sick individuals. i’m sure that the large amounts of money on the premises will negate any claims the shops will make about being non-profit collectives that are here to serve sick individuals. it’s a shame it has to go down this way, but maybe this is how it has to happen before the feds see the laws need to change. change is never easy.

  4. Eastsider,

    Thanks for pulling copies of the lawsuits. The defendant in the first (Edwin Movagharian) seems like a real character — he was detained by the DEA in a private plane in Sacramento with a pile of cash.

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