Our Firm Gets Temporary Restraining Order Against the South Fulton Chief of Police, Prohibiting Further Raids of Our Client’s Hemp Store

Last Friday morning, a Fulton County Superior Court Judge granted a Temporary Restraining Order for our clients, who own a smoke shop in the City of South Fulton, prohibiting the South Fulton Police Department from conducting further raids against our clients, who own a smoke shop in the city called Air Freshener Depot. The judge also granted our request for an order prohibiting the city finance director from keeping our client’s store closed after moving to revoke their business license. This is the fifth time our firm has convinced a judge to issue an order prohibiting law enforcement and other government officials from taking adverse actions against hemp stores based on allegations that the stores are selling marijuana.

In the early afternoon of May 1, 2024, masked and armed officers from the South Fulton Police Department’s Narcotics and Gang Unit carried out a search warrant for our client’s store, a local smoke shop selling hemp and THC products as well as tobacco and nicotine vapes. The police seized a large amount of our client’s hemp and THC products, including Delta-8-THC, THCV, and THCA products, and $14,000 in cash. Most shockingly, the police also arrested three of our client’s employees and charged them with felony marijuana trafficking. That’s the same law that prosecutors charge serious drug dealers under.

On May 9, 2024, merely 8 days after the raid and arrests, the City revoked our client’s business license, forcing them to close the store. Their license was suspended immediately, and they were not given a hearing to dispute the police’s false accusations that they were selling marijuana.

Our clients then hired our firm based on our record of success in fighting back against law enforcement officials who raid hemp stores based on their misinterpretation of Georgia’s hemp laws. We promptly filed a lawsuit against the Chief of Police in South Fulton, who oversaw the raids of the store, and the City’s finance director who revoked our client’s business license. We also demanded a hearing with the City Manager of South Fulton.

On June 20, 2024, we presented the City Manager with evidence that our clients did not break the law, including lab results showing that our client’s products were completely legal. While the City provided some lab results showing that a few of our client’s products were slightly over the THC limit, most of the products passed, and we were able to explain how the police’s improper storage techniques could have caused the other products to become non-compliant. We also presented photos of other stores in the same city selling the same exact products, including one across the street from a police precinct. 

The next day, we got a major win in court. After a contested hearing on our motion for a temporary restraining order against the Chief of Police and the City’s finance director who suspended our client’s business license, a Fulton County Superior Court judge granted our request and issued an order forcing the City to allow our client’s to re-open their store. Critically, the judge also denied the Chief and finance director’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit.

Click on the following links to see the media’s coverage of our case on:

 Fox 5, Atlanta News First (CBS46), WSB (ABC 2)

As a result of our advocacy and the court’s ruling, our client’s will be able to remain open while we continue pressing their case before the City Council and, if necessary, before the courts. If the City Council votes to keep our client’s license revoked, we will be fighting them in court on our request for an injunction banning any future police raids or adverse actions by the city against our clients. 

We have the experts, experience, and extensive knowledge of the science and laws governing the hemp industry in Georgia. If you are a hemp retailer, distributor, or manufacturer, and you are seeking sound legal advice or aggressive representation, contact our firm.


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