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Las Vegas Metro Police bust fake pot shop

Clayton Bernard (LVMPD/KSNV)

It once looked like a legitimate pot shop. But now, the sign out front is gone and a long row of file cabinets lines the sidewalk.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says Elevate Medical Pharmacy never had a license from the state to sell.

Police, along with state investigators, busted the shop near Desert Inn Road and Interstate 15 on Sept. 19.

Officers arrested Clayton Bernard for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell marijuana.

Cil Cruz works nearby and said the pharmacy flew under the radar.

“I thought it was legit because they had a sign and everything. But then when I saw cops and a guy walking out in handcuffs, I said wow, something is wrong here,” said Cruz.

Cannabis Consultant Jason Sturtsman said illegal marijuana dispensaries can be bad business for the state. They can also sell marijuana that is dangerous for consumers.

“You have no idea what you're ingesting or putting in your body,” said Sturtsman.

Sturtsman said there are more than 40 legitimate marijuana dispensaries in the Las Vegas Valley, including “The Source” at Rainbow Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. He said it’s easy to determine whether a dispensary is licensed.

“They’re going to have a certificate from the state of Nevada that says they are a legal recreational or medical dispensary. They'll also have a certificate that says that they can operate within that jurisdiction,” explained Sturtsman. “You'll see every individual (inside the dispensary) has a badge that says state of Nevada."

As for Bernard, an arrest report revealed he told officers Elevate had “nothing to do with marijuana sales.”

Inside, police said they seized edibles and marijuana in baggies and containers with names like “Birthday Cake,” “Sour Diesel,” and “OG Kush.”

Bernard was released from jail on bail. He’s expected to be in court Dec. 5.

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