Officers seize $200000 from Eddie Alvarez's cannabis dispensary for unpaid taxes – The Santa Rosa Press Democrat

State authorities seized about $200,000 in unpaid business taxes Thursday from a cannabis dispensary owned by Santa Rosa Vice Mayor Eddie Alvarez.

California Highway Patrol officers and state tax officials served a warrant on the Russell Avenue business around 1:30 p.m., and authorities spent three hours collecting and counting cash from the safe and register, Alvarez told The Press Democrat.

Alvarez owed nearly $455,000, including $375,000 in unpaid taxes from 2019 through 2021 plus $80,000 in interest, penalties and fees, to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, according to the warrant, which Alvarez shared with the newspaper.

Alvarez, who opened The Hook dispensary in northwest Santa Rosa in 2019, said he hadn’t paid state taxes since opening.

He said he attempted to pay on various occasions but complained the state’s process is onerous and options to pay in-person have been limited during the pandemic, which hit shortly after he opened his shop.

“I told them if you’re going to make it so hard for me to go in and give you your money I’ll just wait for you to come and pick it up and they finally did,” Alvarez said.

He said he knew that stance appeared unorthodox.

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