Case dismissed in cannabis courier’s transport of $165,000 through Kansas

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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.