Federal prosecutors dismissed a forfeiture case involving the transportation to Colorado of more than $165,000 in cash collected from medical cannabis dispensaries in Missouri.
The cash was being transported to Colorado in October 2021 by Denver-based courier company Empyreal Logistics through Kansas, where neither medical nor adult-use marijuana is legal.
Federal prosecutors said at the time the money is subject to forfeiture because it breaks a U.S. law forbidding the manufacture and distribution of federally illegal drugs.
Prosecutors didn’t explain Tuesday why they dropped the case against Empyreal, according to Kansas City, Missouri, TV station KSHB.
A judge accepted the dismissal Wednesday.
The U.S. Marshals Service still has possession of the seized $165,620.
Empyreal had asked a federal court to dismiss the case “with prejudice” and to have the money returned.
The company also requested that its attorney fees be reimbursed.
This is the second victory in a seizure case for Empyreal Logistics, which does business in 28 states and acts as a cash courier for many marijuana businesses as well as for mainstream industries.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice said it would return $1.1 million in legal marijuana proceeds to Empyreal after the company’s vehicles were stopped by sheriff’s deputies in California in 2021.
Empyreal Logistics had filed a federal lawsuit against the DOJ, the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration over the seizure.
The company dropped the California suit after the DOJ agreed to return the money.