Echo Park — For years the sweet smell of freshly baked pan dulce wafted from the panaderia La Espiga at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Scott Avenue. But a few months ago passersby at the same corner may have caught a whiff of something else: pot.
While a new banner on the building’s storefront reads “Panaderia La Espiga Bakery, Fresh Pastry Coffee & Cake, ” the business operating inside was not churning out Mexican sweet breads as the banner suggested. Instead, the new owners were selling cannabis products illegally under the name Happy Nugs Collective, according to the LAPD.
The closure of La Espiga — which had been one of Echo Park’s last remaining panaderias after the closure of Celaya Bakery — coincided with the sale of the building at the end of last year. Happy Nugs Collective was up and running by January 2019, lining glass jars of marijuana and brightly packaged edibles along the walls. Outside, the exterior of the building was covered in sheets of artificial grass. A quick Google search will only pull up broken links to the former pot shop.
On June 17, the building was raided by LAPD narcotics officers who seized an undisclosed amount of cash and marijuana while utility workers shut off the building’s power in an effort to stop the illegal sales, according to police.
The raid in Echo Park is part of a larger crackdown by the city on un-permitted marijuana dispensaries that continue to undercut legal retailers with cheaper prices.
Published: July 30, 2019
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