The feud began last year after Montoya, whose rise and fall as a burrito businessman was chronicled by the New York Times, rented an office and a house to Duff behind his last remaining Burrito King (he sold off the others). Montoya said he has no problem with pot clinics. “I’m a supporter of medical marijuana,” he said. But Montoya claims that Duff, who opened a dispensary called Liberty Bell Temple, never provided proof that he had the proper permits to sell medical marijuana. Federal drug enforcement agents raided the Liberty Bell late last year, and, after failing to provide the necessary documents, Duff was evicted last month.
Duff said Montoya wanted him out of the office so he could lease the space to a rival pot dispensary, the House of Kush. “It had nothing to do with permits … it had everything to do with his greed.”
The protests began in June after Montoya began the eviction proceedings against Duff. Flyers stating “Boycott Burrito King for unfair business practices” soon began to circulate in the neighborhood. Montoya later filed for a restraining order against Duff, who at one point was arrested but no charges were ever filed. Duff said he has filed a lawsuit against Montoya seeking monetary damages and claims that city inspectors helped the House of Kush, which now operates out of his old Silver Lake office, get the necessary approvals to open while blocking others.
The protests and feuding continued after Duff opened the 4,000-square-foot Temple of Zion in Elysian Valley. Duff, who said he is the reverend of the Rastafarian church and pot dispensary, blames Montoya for spurring the LAPD to raid his new pot clinic on Thursday night. But Montoya said he only found out about the raid when his wife saw it on an evening television news report.
For now, Montoya said he’s happy so far with his new medical marijuana tenant. But, if he didn’t need the income to pay the mortgage, he would have left the space vacant. Duff, meanwhile, said he’s focused on running the House of Zion and is not directly involved in the Burrito King boycott.
“That’s the patients’ choice,” he said. “I have nothing to do with it .. except for I enjoy it.”[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lefa5-XvgV4&hl=en&fs=1&]
Middle image from YouTube. Thanks to Rude Funk for the boycott video.