LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency raided seven medical marijuana dispensary sites Wednesday afternoon, making more than 40 arrests, according to police.

The raid at about 1 p.m. targeted two locations that were being used to grow marijuana and two that had been identified by the Fire Department as uninhabitable, police said.

Police didn't provide further details.

Medical marijuana patient Daniel Palafox said he was at the Long Beach Green Room medical marijuana collective, located at Seventh Street and Rose Avenue, when it was raided. He said he saw police officers arrive with riot shields and a battering ram, though they didn't use it.

The 54-year-old, who said he uses medical marijuana for back pain and the effects of past injuries such as a broken leg and torn ligaments, said he was detained with the dispensary employees for 30 to 40 minutes before he was let go.

However, when he asked police if he would still be allowed to take his medicine with him, "They said, 'Nope, we're taking it all.'"

The raid is just the latest, though possibly the largest, crackdown on medical marijuana in Long Beach since the city's ban went into full effect in August.

The ban was a reaction by city officials to a court ruling that the city can't regulate the drug because it is illegal under federal law. City Hall had worked for two years to come up with a permitting system and regulations to control the number of collectives in Long Beach.

Once that law lost its teeth, the City Council voted to ban medical marijuana rather than risk its unregulated proliferation throughout Long Beach.

: Source