That Time We Were Raided

We believe in the power of community because we’ve seen the impactful changes made by our passionate cannabis advocates, patients, researchers, and supporters.

When the Care By Design team came together in 2010, the CBD market did not exist and there was little consumer awareness of this lesser-known cannabinoid. It was challenging to find high-CBD strains in California! Most CBD-rich strains had been bred out of existence due to the demand for high potency THC. But the science was there, and we knew that CBD was a key component in the healing power of cannabis.

Determined to make safe and effective CBD products that gave patients control over cannabis’ psychoactive effects, we search up and down the state for high CBD, low THC strains that were rich in therapeutic terpenes and minor cannabinoids. Eventually we found some and, in 2014, we launched Care By Design, the first line of CBD-rich products in a variety of CBD to THC ratios.

As the market leader in the space, we’ve had countless opportunities to showcase our best-in-class manufacturing practices and processes. We’ve hosted hundreds of tours at our headquarters in Santa Rosa, California. Many of them for policy makers and politicians.

Four years ago today – less than a month after we hosted dozens of elected officials and legislators from Sacramento – our legal and compliant manufacturing facility was raided by more than 100 law enforcement officers. Acting on a false tip, local and federal agents stormed our company headquarters and six other affiliated properties and seized millions of dollars in cash, equipment, and product. Dennis Hunter, one of the company’s founder, was arrested at his home and held on $5 million bail, while thousands of cannabis patients who relied on our CBD medicine were left with uncertainty.

Less than 24 hours after the raid, hundreds of supporters rallied in front of the Santa Rosa courthouse to demand justice for the unceremonious actions on part of law enforcement. Support from elected officials was immediate with one Santa Rosa City Council member, commenting that law enforcement’s actions were like the Japanese soldiers on an island still fighting a war that is over.

Dennis was released from custody within 48 hours and no charges were ever brought against him or the company. But the setbacks caused by the confused and misguided actions of law enforcement were devastating and unfortunately all too common for our industry which has, for decades, called for clear, consistent, and sensible regulations.

Rebuilding our company after the raid was difficult without equipment, inventory, or resources. Not to mention the fact that our      employees were worried that they might face jail time, simply for doing their part to get cannabis medicine into the hands of sick patients. Our ability to continue operating was made possible in large part by the outpouring of support we received from our community which further strengthened our conviction that access to CBD is essential.

Care By Design’s founding mission is to radically improve the lives of individuals and raise the baseline health of our communities through natural and effective cannabis products. This mission is just as relevant today as it was four years ago. We remain committed to improving our communities through cannabis. We will continue to evolve the research and regulations that support our industry so that we can continue to offer people the best CBD products possible.

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