Legacy operator Daniel Kessel of Budhub was once again jailed recently by the police in Ocean County.
He has been in jail in Ocean County since February 21st. Kessel was charged with one count of conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute 25 lbs. or more of marijuana.
He explained on the Sativa Cross podcast last week that complications from his previous arrests led to him being kept in jail.
“They don’t have anything on me selling cannabis products. It’s all conspiracy charges,” Kessel noted. “There’s a lot of corruption going on to keep me in jail.”
He remains confident he will not be convicted in a jury trial due to the support cannabis has among people.
“Since I got out of jail the last time, I have not participated in any (cannabis) sales,” Kessel declared.
“Call the Governor’s office. Call the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office and tell them this is wrong,” he added.
An associate of his posted on social media his account written behind bears of what happened.
According to the post, the Ocean County Prosecutors Office (OCPO) raided them. Despite an extensive search, Kessel said they only found less than six ounces of cannabis which under New Jersey law is legal for an individual to possess.
He wrote that a neighbor likely complained, which led to police surveillance.
Daniel Kessel Recounts Police Problems
“During their surveillance, they did not see me make one sale out of my house. They did not see me make any sales from anywhere. Since my most recent arrest in October 2021, I have NOT participated in any sales,” Kessel wrote. “On Tuesday, March 7th, 2023, at my hearing, I was denied bail reform, propelling me into an unforeseeable future within these concrete walls of the Ocean County Jail.
“I do participate in the sale of branded merchandise, the branded merchandise they refrained from removing from my property. Last time I checked, it was never illegal to sell any of those things: t-shirts, sweatshirts, beanies,” he argued in the post.
“OCPO said I need to stay in jail because they spent a lot of money (taxpayers’ dollars) on this investigation. This goes against everything we voted for two years ago as well as the Bail Reform Act,” Kessel said.
Former Governor Chris Christie signed the Bail Reform Act into law, which ended prisoners from being caught in limbo and sitting in jail.
Giving Back to the Community
“They will claim that I am “laundering money.” Yet if this allegation was true, why would the IRS, as well as the NJ Department of Revenue, accept my $325,000 tax return? By accepting my tax return, they are saying my company is and always has been, legal and legitimate,” Kessel argued.
He noted his extensive charity work in the Ocean County community.
“I work with Just Believe Inc. transporting the homeless community in our local areas to a safe and secure warming center. In addition to that, I help distribute prepared meals at the Presbyterian Church every Friday morning and will deliver to those in need who were unable to make it to the food drive. I have donated to Ocean of Love, the local police department, and many other surrounding departments,” Kessel explained.
He also said he is a member of the Ocean County Democratic Organization in District 24 in Berkley Township.
Kessel noted that Ocean County has now devoted significant resources to fighting legacy cannabis operators versus those selling heroin and fentanyl, which are known to be far deadlier.
“I am asking all of my friends, family, locals & the entire cannabis community to advocate for BudHub’s immediate release. We need to stand up,” he ended the post.
Bud Hub has been seeking to convert from a legacy operator to a legal company for some time. His company had been planning to apply for a license from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC). Kessel’s sister and partner, Ashley, is the majority owner. Thus they are a woman-owned company.
Like other small business people seeking legal cannabis licenses, Kessel became a legalization activist advocating for Toms River to allow cannabis dispensaries.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office has not released any public information regarding the arrest of Kessel.
Supporters of Daniel Kessel and Budhub are holding a protest on Thursday morning outside the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.