Two people were charged in D.C. for allegedly selling marijuana and THC-laced goodies from luxury cars decked out with prominent displays of pot leaves.
According to police, the pot business's fleet -- which traveled through D.C. neighborhoods such as U Street and Chinatown -- included three high-end cars bearing a prominent logo and phone number for "Kush Gods." Kush is a slang term for a high grade of marijuana.
Nicholas Paul Cunningham, 30, of Alabama, and 18-year-old Evonne Lidoff of Northwest D.C., were charged Tuesday, D.C. police said. The two appeared in court Wednesday, where they pleaded not guilty.
After leaving court, Cunningham said he planned to be back out again Thursday, handing out edible marijuana items. He said he believes police were confused and they'll resolve the matter in court.
He said he believes what he's doing is legal.
However, he didn't get back to work Thursday -- later Cunningham tweeted that his arrest was a minor setback and he'd be back on the streets Saturday.
According to a post by DCist this fall, the owner of Kush Gods -- who declined to give his name to the blog -- moved from L.A. to D.C. over the summer, hoping to capitalize on D.C.'s changing legal landscape regarding marijuana, and was accepting donations for the pot-laced treats.
Possession of marijuana and home cultivation were legalized in the District earlier this year for people 21 and older -- but the laws don't allow anyone to sell or trade marijuana for goods or services. In addition, Congress banned the District from creating laws to permit or regulate the legal sale of pot.
"I don't really have a suggested donation price because I don't want to turn anyone down," the man told DCist, but also allegedly said "Brownies are ten dollars."
It is unknown whether Cunningham is the man DCist interviewed.
Police have seized three vehicles in the case.
A Twitter account purportedly representing the business, @KushGods101, includes tweets telling readers where the cars would be, similar to the Twitter accounts of food trucks.
"Headed to U street! #Kushgods," reads a tweet from Oct. 16.
"Downtown 5pm! #Kushgods," said a tweet from two days later.
"The DMV requested stronger edibles....u got em! New eddy's made with California Sap 90 percent!" says a tweet from last month.
Cunningham is facing four charges of distribution of a controlled substance; he was arrested and released Tuesday. Lidoff was issued a citation for one count each of possession and distribution.
According to a charging document obtained by News4, an undercover officer first approached Cunningham in October at a Sunoco gas station at 14th and U streets NW. The officer asked about buying cupcakes made with marijuana, and Cunningham told him he could get whatever he wanted, the document said.
Five days later, the officer texted Cunningham, and the two met in Chinatown, where the officer paid $200 for 12 brownies and a large bag of gummy bears, the document said. Police say a portion of the brownies field-tested positive for THC, the main ingredient in marijuana.
The charging document says the officer bought pot-laced foods -- including more brownies, gummy bears and rice cakes -- from Cunningham several times after that, as well as loose marijuana at least twice.
On Dec. 10, the officer texted Cunningham to buy more pot, and Cunningham told him to "meet his girl" to get it, according to the charging document. A woman gave him a plastic bag containing apparent marijuana from a Lexus decorated with an image of pot leaves and the "KUSH GODS" logo, the document said.
Outside of a D.C. courthouse Wednesday, Cunningham said he'd received no warning from police and that if he had, he would have stopped what he was doing or found another way to distribute.
However, police said they don't give warnings.
Cunningham wouldn't comment when on the fact that the charging document said some of the edibles did not contain THC. He also declined to say how much money he's been making.
The judge said Cunningham had two outstanding warrants in California, but it was not immediately known what they were for.