Cannabis Grower Suing After Police Destroyed Evidence In Civil Forfeiture Case

Maryland-based cannabis grower Joseph Ricci says in a new lawsuit that Smithfield police lied about being told by a confidential source that his cannabis grow exceeded the legal limits and then destroyed cannabis products seized from his grow that could have proved his operation was lawful, the Providence Journal reports.

The dispute stems from a 2017 incident where police searched a warehouse owned by Ricci and, according to police reports, ultimately seized 42 cannabis plants and a little more than a kilogram of bagged cannabis flower. At the time, Ricci was a registered medical cannabis patient and caregiver providing cannabis for two other patients, the report said.

Police initially filed drug charges against Ricci but those were dropped; however, officials have continued to pursue a civil forfeiture case that seeks to claim Ricci’s Smithfield warehouse.

However, it was recently revealed that police last year destroyed at least some of the cannabis seized from Ricci’s grow. In court papers filed on Friday, Ricci’s attorney, Megan Sheehan, called the case “a travesty of justice.”

Additionally, a federal judge noted during a pre-trial motion ruling last year that there was “strong” speculation that police had lied about hearing about the grow site from

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