LAWRENCE — Two months after a case for selling marijuana without a license was dismissed against Sandra Kattar, she was back in court Thursday to face the same charges again.
An undercover sting revealed Kattar was handing out small amounts of marijuana with the purchase of products from Humble Bumble, a health and wellness store in Methuen that sold legal hemp products, according to police.
Kattar, of Haverhill, was set to go to trial in September. At that time, a spokesperson for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said there were "outstanding materials" prosecutors needed to proceed and requested a continuance.
Judge Mark Sullivan, however, denied the request and instead dismissed the case without prejudice for "failure to prosecute."
When a case is dismissed without prejudice, charges can be refiled at a later time.
That's what landed Kattar back in court to restart the process Thursday, where she was arraigned on charges of distribution of marijuana.
Kattar's new attorney, Jennifer Capone, waived the reading of charges in Lawrence District Court.
Kattar's arraignment comes a day after the state approved cannabis testing laboratories to begin operations, meaning recreational sales are likely to start soon.
Recreational pot shops have been banned in Methuen, Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, but will be allowed in Haverhill.
Humble Bumble has since been dissolved, according to the secretary of state's corporations database. Kattar opened her own store in Haverhill, Humble Healings, which sells products infused with Cannabidiol — known as CBD — and other health and wellness goods.
CBD products do not contain the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana and are legal in all 50 states.
According to court documents from Kattar's initial case, law enforcement officers received information that customers at Humble Bumble "were purchasing regular items like 'bath salts' for an amount well beyond their reasonable value with the intention of being 'gifted' specific amounts of a green, leafy substance consistent with marijuana."
Undercover officers called the business last September to inquire about the "gifting" program, according to a police report previously filed in Lawrence District Court.
An undercover officer from Andover went to the store twice last September, purchased a product from the shelves, and was also given roughly one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana, according to the police report.
The clerk was later determined to be Kattar. She was arrested and charged with two counts of distribution of marijuana.
Her attorney at the time, Joe Goldberg-Giuliano, filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds there was no legal framework for selling marijuana, and the law on the books allowed for people to "gift" small amounts.
"The allegations in the police report, the conduct described there, even if all of it were proven to be true, it would still not amount to a crime under the law," Goldberg-Giuliano previously told The Eagle-Tribune.
Kattar will appear in court for a pre-trial conference in January.