Pasadena Pot Dispensary Owner Claims Recent Bust Was ‘Discriminatory’

Three employees were arrested and more than 28 pounds of cannabis products were seized during the search of the premises. – Photo by Dinnis Lee

By Kenya Barrett

Shaun Szameit, owner of Golden State Collective, located on 50 N. Mentor Ave. in Pasadena, was present at the Pasadena City Council meeting on Dec. 17 to discuss a recent raid on his property.

Golden State Collective, an unlicensed medical marijuana dispensary was busted by the Pasadena Police Department on Wednesday, Dec. 12. Three employees were arrested and more than 28 pounds of cannabis products were seized during the search of the premises. The raid came after the city’s multiple attempts to shut down the business and other dispensaries operating illegally in Pasadena, since the 2005 zoning ban.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Szameit challenged the city’s actions in attempts to defend his business. He made remarks describing the incident as discriminatory while noting that the ban zoning ordinance is “invalid.”

“We have filed a lawsuit challenging the punitive language in the ordinance and its validity,” said Szameit. “I wish to ask the council why they raided two unlicensed locations that were established after 2016 – side-by-side a couple of weeks ago – but choose to ignore the business next door to mine that does the exact same activities during the attack. It seems very biased and discriminatory.”

Given the circumstances, Szameit took to his personal Facebook page asking friends and followers to support the business at the Dec. 17 meeting, giving testimonials in favor of the shop.

“Please join us in support, Monday Dec. 17. Thirty minutes of your time is all we request,” the post read. “This is the last City Council meeting of the year and the city decided to raid Golden State Collective rather than license our activity. They arrested our staff and took our inventory and the following day announced the application window. We have the Chamber of Commerce support, the support of the business and resident community and have given back a third of our income this year back to the city residents and programs that need it.”

Several customers of the dispensary took the stand in support of Golden State Collective, expressing their thoughts on how the city is handling the situation.

“I am just really confused by the sluggish reaction to what is obviously popular consent,” said Patrick Morris, a local of Pasadena. “With the amount of effort that Golden State has gone to with the signatures and the costs accrued to that, I don’t know what it will take for the city to listen to its residents.”

December 20, 2018

About Author

Kenya Barrett Kenya is a Community Features writer for Pasadena Independent. In her spare time she enjoys singing, celebrity gossip, and video games. :) For tips or story ideas, feel free to send to

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