Shocking Raid at Jungle Boys L.A. Hub

Stephen Andrews
06 Mar 2022

Jungle Boys are back in the spotlight, but not for any good news this time around. TLC Collective, home of the Jungle Boys, was raided by law enforcement on Tuesday (March 1) over an alleged late fee of 66,000, which the dispensary staff says already had it disputed and had a hearing date scheduled.

TLC is famously the base of the Jungle Boys. They are one of the success stories of urban cannabis formers, with a history of finding the most unique cannabis strains

During the 20 years between medical and adult-use cannabis getting legalized, this collective has faced intense persecution just trying to exist. But they have managed to get through, and, more than this, they have made a real name for themselves. Many in Los Angeles, one of the largest pot markets globally, feel a special bond with Jungle Boys. 

Last week, the collective was a target of law enforcement and The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. What was the raid all about? Authorities cited an unpaid sum of $66,000 in tаx money. The collective said they had already disputed and had a hearing date to look forward to. The raid at Jungle Boys headquarters caused community-wide anger and disapproval of how authorities handled the case. 

Ivan from the Jungle Boys told 'High Times' what happened: "At five o'clock in the evening, 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." 

The situation escalated quickly. "We started seeing a round-up of all our employees into the front lobby area and were like, 'are we fucking raided?'" Ivan told 'High Times.'

Initially, Ivan said he thought someone had made a big mistake for this kind of situation to unfold and was on the phone with his lawyer when the next thing that happened was police officers pointing guns at the team. 

"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 basically a raid, and we're like what the fuck?" 

"I was thinking in my head we owed them millions of dollars," Ivan said. "I've never seen it where you have Highway Patrol undercovers, LAPD, Sherrif, every agency there all working together."

A slew of fine discrepancies at the CDTFA from when their offices were closed during pandemic and dispensaries couldn't pay taxes in cash eventually led the TLC team to face all of this nightmarish scenario. Despite the $18 million they did receive from The Jungle Boys in 2021, authorities decided to demonstrate an extraordinary force on a $66,000 sum the collective already received a hearing date for.

The authorities refused to look at any paperwork or speak to their lawyer during the raid. They were just there to collect. "They just basically said they're asking all the money inside the building. I'm like, wait, this is over the $66,000?"

But nothing would stop the authorities, and the "what the fuck" situation went on. In the end, The CDTFA emptied 174,000 dollars from TLC. They even opened the tip jars for the budtenders at the counter. 

The Jungle Boys also shared an update on the raid over Instagram. In one of their posts, they've said: "After this ordeal they walked out and said business as usual. You can open back up. So we give these agencies all of our money over taxed and over regulated and this is what we get when we dispute a late fee. I've gone through every emotion and when I realized I pay all these people to do this shit to us I just can't wrap my head around it. We are a legal complaint business, and this is how we get treated? The California Cannabis tax system is broken and we will all be out of business while all these agencies continue to get bigger every day. TLC is back open today and we will see where this all goes." 

Approached for a comment, the CDTFA has offered the following explanation: "This is our standard procedure for cannabis business 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."

As you can conclude yourself, a standard procedure like this does make one vomit and feel sick. 

Stephen Andrews