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By Bob Uphues
Police raided a Brookfield business on March 16, charging the owner and another man with selling cannabis wax concentrate – sometimes called dabs or honey oil – out of the back of the business.
Officers from Riverside, Brookfield and the west suburban Major Case Assistance Team (MCAT) served a search warrant at Root 66 Aquaponic Garden Shop, 8863 Burlington Ave., and arrested the owner, Shawn M. Odneal, 41, and employee James W. Wright, 51.
Odneal, of Brookfield, and Wright, of Lyons, were charged with felony manufacture and delivery of cannabis. Police reported recovering cannabis, cannabis wax, vape pens with cannabis wax, scales, a cannabis trimmer, a shop vacuum used for cannabis production, grinders, cash, bongs and a fully loaded Ruger handgun.
When police entered the store, Wright reportedly told them he had a valid medical marijuana card. But police reportedly told Wright that medical marijuana must be in its original packing and can't be sold for profit.
A phone call to the business by the Landmark on Friday afternoon wasn't answered. No one from Root 66 immediately responded to a message from the newspaper asking about the status of the business. Root 66 touts itself as a resource for those interested in indoor, hydroponic gardening.
Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said investigators learned Odneal was selling cannabis and cannabis concentrate and paraphernalia from the Burlington Avenue storefront.
According to Weitzel, the cannabis and paraphernalia was stored in a back room at the business. Customers entering the store would indicate they wanted to buy cannabis and the products would be retrieved from the back room, police said.
Police said they believed cannabis oil was being delivered to the business from California, where it's legal, and that Odneal turned the oil into cannabis wax onsite.
The investigation showed that high school students were using the wax, which can be dangerous to handle. Weitzel said cooking the wax involves butane.
"This drug is highly potent and dangerous because its full effects cannot be predicted,' Weitzel said in a press release. "The marijuana wax is made from raw marijuana, which is far stronger."
Weitzel indicated that police have ongoing investigations into other drug operations related to the Brookfield business.