"Jungle Boys" raided at California H.Q.

Liz Filmer
04 Mar 2022

Last week, one of Los Angeles' most established dispensaries had a run-in with law enforcement and The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. TLC is famously the base of the Jungle Boys. They are one of the success stories of urban cannabis farmers, which has seen so many tragically fall short and ultimately have to sell a piece or sell out.

As one of the industrys' triumphs in a world of corporate companies, It was unfair to see what they had to go through.
Jungle Boys have successfully navigated everything that the legal cannabis market in L.A. could and have thrown at them. All whilst maintaining a top-quality product. Whilst legal cannabis is still somewhat of a tumultuous industry. It is a shame to see a company that has done so well be treated in this way. 

  Ivan from the Jungle Boys told 'High Times' about what happened.
"At 5pm, we're all sitting inside of the shop. It's the first of the month so we're paying all our bills. We look up at the camera and see one car, two cars, three cars, four cars, and are like 'holy shit, they must be chasing someone inside of our building,' you know? We watched them come up and my first thought was either they're chasing someone inside of our building or someone that worked for us maybe has a warrant or something."

As they watched the employees be gathered by law enforcement, they realised that the situation was quickly evolving. "We started seeing a round-up of all our employees into the front lobby area and were like, 'are we fucking raided?'"

At first, he presumed that someone had messed up big time for this kind of scenario, and Ivan was on the phone with his lawyer when things escalated even more. "Right next to the office, two cops come with guns on us, put them in our face, tell us to get to the fucking ground, this is a raid, and we're like, what the fuck?" 
"I was thinking in my head we owed them millions of dollars, I've never seen it where you have Highway Patrol undercovers, LAPD, sheriff, every agency there all working together."

It was eventually revealed that this whole operation had been caused by a discrepancy with the CDTFA (California Department of Tax and Fee Administration). The CDTFA regularly inspects California dispensaries. They'll ask to see your last few invoices to ensure everything is in order. The situation was that the CDTFA offices had been closed during the pandemic meaning that dispensaries couldn't pay taxes in cash. 

Although they received $18 million from the Jungle Boys in 2021, the CDTFA decided to move forward with this action over a dispute for $66,000 that the Jungle Boys had already received a hearing date. 

The original problem had arisen because the CDTFA offices had been closed during the pandemic meaning that dispensaries couldn't pay taxes in cash. Despite this, the CDTFA tried to impose late fees on The Jungle Boys, who in retaliation appealed the decision.

During the raid, the authorities refused to look at any paperwork or speak to their lawyer. They were just there to collect. Ivan was not happy.

"I'm like, fuck you motherfuckers, what the fuck? You're fucking raiding our building over a fucking dispute that we have a date set that you guys have the email, you guys received it, you guys fucking accepted it! We send you faxes. We have all the paperwork; here it is. This is what this is about? I thought this was over, like, millions of fucking dollars that we messed upon." This did nothing to stop events, though, as the CDTFA cleared out 174,000 dollars from TLC. Even emptying the tip jars for the budtenders at the counter.

When asked for comment, the CDTFA said: "This is our standard procedure for cannabis businesses or any business. We're not singling out any industry or type of business. If you owe taxes in California, we do our best to collect what is due," 

Does law enforcement unfairly single cannabis firms out despite the fact they are now legal businesses? Many would say that the answer to this is yes! 

Liz Filmer