Two arrested in raids on CBD stores in Hancock County

La Harvest Mugs
Karen McClain, Darren Perkins

Hancock County Sheriff’s Office is searching two stores that sell CBD products — one in Bay St. Louis and one in Waveland.

Sheriff Ricky Adam confirmed that his narcotics squad were executing search warrants at LA Harvest stores.

Hancock County Narcotics Task Force Director Casey Favre said in a press release that Bay St. Louis, the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in executing the search warrants.

The sheriff’s office received complaints saying about items sold at LA Harvest and narcotics agents determined employees were selling marijuana flower and other items with concentrations of THC above the legal threshold.

Agents found 75 pounds of marijuana flower and 26 packages of THC infused edible products, in addition to paraphernalia confirming the business was creating infused products of their own using an internal “lab like” setup, Favre said.

Arrested on Wednesday were business owner and operator 54-year-old Karen McClain of Slidell, Louisiana and employee Darren Perkins of Slidell. Both were charged with sale or distribution of a controlled substance. McClain also was charged with trafficking of controlled substances.

Other charges are pending against additional employees for related sales, Hancock County said.

Favre said in the press release that the public should be aware that some of the products sold at LA Harvest contained concentrations of THC that are illegal and possession of those products are illegal. Marijuana flower was mixed in higher concentrations and the business allegedly had altered the packaging of several commercial products to show the THC concentration was below legal limits in Mississippi when in fact they were higher.

“LA Harvest has not qualified to be a dispensary of medical marijuana in the state and the company has conducted their illicit business long before the medical marijuana law went into effect,” Adam said. “They have held no regard for the state’s medical marijuana law, often flaunting that they did not require medical cards. Essentially, they are no different than street level dope dealers, other than they have a fancy store front.”

Adam also said the products are not always safe and pose a threat to public safety, particularly when the products are altered, misidentified and sold as legal products.

According to their Facebook page, LA Harvest’s Bay St. Louis store opened March 16. The Waveland store’s grand opening is scheduled for Thursday.

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