The co-founder of 805 Beach Breaks dispensary in Grover Beach is free of criminal charges after he reached a settlement agreement last month with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.
Brian Touey, who opened 805 Beach Breaks in 2018 as the first brick-and-mortar cannabis store in San Luis Obispo County, agreed to give up his Santa Barbara County cultivation license and $32,000 in profits as part of the settlement, according to the DA's Office.
- FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
- CHARGES DISMISSED Brian Touey, co-owner of 805 Beach Breaks, is free of a perjury charge after entering a settlement with the Santa Barbara County DA’s Office.
Prosecutors had charged Touey with felony perjury following a March 28 Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office raid of a large Los Alamos cannabis grow, in which Touey was one of three growers involved. Deputies seized products from 805 Beach Breaks as part of the probe, though the Grover Beach Police Department later cleared the dispensary of wrongdoing in a separate investigation.
The sticking point in the Santa Barbara case was whether the DA's Office could prove that Touey had committed perjury on documents that stated cannabis was grown at the site before 2016, which was necessary to obtain a growing license. The county alleged it wasn't true. But ultimately, the out-of-court settlement provided a resolution for both sides.
"From the county's standpoint, we wanted him to no longer grow in Santa Barbara County and we wanted the grow terminated immediately," Santa Barbara County Deputy DA Lee Carter told New Times. "It doesn't change the fact that the [cultivation] licenses weren't valid."
Touey's attorney, Robert Sanger, said he believed the negotiated agreement was a "fair" outcome.
"As far as Mr. Touey is concerned, the case was dismissed and he has moved on," Sanger said.
The cases of the two other Los Alamos growers are still active, according to Lee.
As a result of the case, Touey stepped away from his cultivation company, THC Farms, but he remains a co-owner of 805 Beach Breaks.
The legal settlement doesn't bar Touey or THC Farms from applying for new cultivation licenses—or any other cannabis industry licenses—in Santa Barbara County or elsewhere in the future.