Devil’s Weed was Sold Unlawfully at the Church of Peace and Glory, Sayeth the Law

The Church of Peace and Glory in Costa Mesa. Photos by Matt Coker.

California’s new Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) participated in the arrest of a Newport Beach man accused of operating an unlawful marijuana dispensary in Costa Mesa.

Omid Delkash, 47, was charged Monday with four misdemeanor counts of unlawful transportation, sale and furnishing marijuana, according to a joint statement from the BCC, the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Costa Mesa’s Police and Code Enforcement departments, the California Department of Taxes and Fee Administration and the state Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation-Cannabis Enforcement Unit.

In March, the Church of Peace and Glory opened at 1673 Irvine Ave., Unit K (for Kush?), Costa Mesa, and it has been listed as a marijuana dispensary on WeedMaps and other sources ever since.

The location is in the Irvine Center strip center near Irvine Avenue and 17th Street that includes a 7-Eleven and, across the parking lot, La Cave restaurant. Newport Harbor High School is also nearby.

Costa Mesa’s Measure X forbids any type of retail sales of marijuana and/or cannabis products within city boundaries, including medical marijuana. With a city-issued business license, wholesale medical marijuana distributing, manufacturing, processing, transporting as well as laboratory research and development can be conducted in Costa Mesa.

Meanwhile, California law requires a license from one of the state’s three cannabis-licensing authorities before undertaking any commercial marijuana activity. Enforcement of the state law can be undertaken by state or local law enforcement.

“Citizen complaints,” according to the joint-agencies’ statement, led to a Costa Mesa Police Special Investigations Unit probe of the Church of Peace and Glory beginning in May, when two citations for unlawfully operating a marijuana dispensary were issued.

However, on May 9 and again on June 5, Delkash allegedly sold marijuana to customers.

Sunday sacraments at this “happy place” are on hold.

On June 14, Costa Mesa Code Enforcement did a walk-through at the business, where Delkash is claimed to have shown his establishment was “in compliance and not operating as a marijuana dispensary,” according to the statement. “Delkash is accused of commercially selling marijuana on the same day as the walk-through. He is also accused of selling marijuana to customers on July 17, 2018.”

This past Friday, officers with the state and local agencies who put out the joint statement served a search warrant at the Church of Peach and Glory, where marijuana, edibles and tobacco products were confiscated, according to the authorities.

There are now signs on the glass windows in front of the business stating “Do Not Enter” with the phone number of Irvine Center Management.

Delkash, who was arrested that day without incident, was held on $150,000 bail before his arraignment. He is due back in court in Santa Ana on Friday for a pre-trial hearing.

Now, it’s probably a TOTAL coincidence, but type “Omid Delkash” or “Omid Ed Delkash” in Google and see what pops up. You’ll note references to businesses in Irvine, Newport Beach and Santa Ana as well as allegations of loan-modification fraud. Also see if you can spot that name associated with “Dirty D,” Jenny from the block and NFL cornerback Richard Sherman.

Naw, it’s probably not the same Omid Delkash.

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *