WSLB Issues Emergency Suspension to Okanogan County Cannabis Producer

El Rey De La Kush suspended for alleged distribution of product out of state

RIVERSIDE, WA -- Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) officers today issued an emergency suspension to Tier 1 producer El Rey de La Kush (license number 428922) located in Riverside, WA. The suspension, effective immediately, is for alleged diversion of product out of the state.

On September 16, 2020, the Wenatchee Police Department notified WSLCB officers of a case they were investigating involving 4.3 pounds of cannabis that had been shipped from a residence in Wenatchee via the United Parcel Service (UPS). A search warrant was served at the residence where approximately 620 pounds of cannabis was discovered. The cannabis had WSLCB traceability system tags associated with El Rey De La Kush.

The suspect in the case, Brandi Clardy, is directly affiliated with El Rey De La Kush and listed as “Other” on the license. The licensee for El Rey De La Kush, Juan Penaloza, died in July 2020. Clardy has been operating the business since his death.

In an interview with the Wenatchee Police Department, Clardy admitted to unlawfully removing cannabis from the licensed premises for the purposes of distributing cannabis out of state

Based on federal enforcement priorities, the WSLCB’s three highest priorities for regulating Washington’s licensed cannabis operation are:

  1. Preventing the criminal element from entering the system;
  2. Keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors; and
  3. Preventing diversion of product out of state.

Cannabis products from El Rey De la Kush were actively being diverted out of a legal licensed producer/processor, to Texas, where cannabis is illegal. The blatant disregard to follow the laws established by the state of Washington for a safe and regulated cannabis market warrant the emergency suspension pending cancellation of this license.

The license will remain suspended for a period of 180 days, during which the WSLCB will pursue permanent revocation.

Emergency suspensions represent an extraordinary exercise of the state’s power and the WSLCB is mandated to ensure that an emergency suspension is reasonable, justifiable and legal. This is only the second Board-issued emergency suspension of 2020.

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