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Banning men plead guilty to operating illegal cannabis dispensary

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Two men were each sentenced to 180 days in county jail and three years probation today for operating an illegal cannabis dispensary in Banning.

Arturo Rosas Gonzalez, 41, and Jose Alfredo Vazquez, 26, both of Banning, pleaded guilty to one count each of felony conspiracy to possess cannabis for sale, and one count of unlawfully failing to file sales tax returns, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say that from September 2018 to May 2019, the duo illegally operated an unlicensed cannabis dispensary on South First Street in Banning, which they originally called "Cannabliss."

The DA's Bureau of Investigation Cannabis Regulation Task Force served a search warrant at Cannabliss in November 2019, when authorities issued Gonzalez and Vazquez an order to stop doing business.

However, the two men reopened an illegal unlicensed dispensary at the same location, this time calling it Banning's Finest.

Another search warrant was served in May 2018, leading to the dispensary's closure in May 2019.

This the first conviction in a case investigated by the DA's Bureau of Investigation Cannabis Regulation Task Force.

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