Pierce County has begun cracking down on illegal marijuana businesses, with Prosecutor Mark Lindquist today charging a store owner for operating without a license.

Robert Linwood Hall III, 33, has been charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and unlawful manufacturing of a control substance. Hall operated Green Organics in Tacoma; according to a statement from Pierce County, he failed to obtain a license but continued to sell marijuana from his shop after the July 1 deadline for unlicensed marijuana sales operations.

The county had begun mailing letters to business owners, landlords and operators to notify them of the deadline last year.

“Our goal is to aid law enforcement so that everyone complies with current law,” said Lindquist. “Those selling marijuana have been given ample notice of the deadline to obtain a license or cease operations. Marijuana is legal in Washington State, but you can’t sell it without a license just as you can’t sell alcohol without a license. Everyone has to play by the new rules.”

According to reports, Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a controlled buy from Hall on Tuesday. A deputy entered Green Organics and told Hall, who identified himself as “David,” that he wanted to purchase marijuana for back pain. The defendant sold the deputy 4.6 grams of marijuana. The deputy did not provide and was not asked for any medical marijuana authorization.

On Wednesday, deputies served a search warrant on the defendant’s business and recovered marijuana in various forms and several pieces of paraphernalia. Hall was taken into custody and booked into the Pierce County Jail. He was ordered released on personal recognizance, but must comply with drug treatment recommended by his father or Pretrial Services as a condition of his release.