Colorado trafficking case may bode ill for marijuana industry

A Colorado business owner with 14 company licenses and a former officer of the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division have been indicted in connection with a black market cannabis trafficking ring, potentially fueling anti-cannabis moves by industry opponents.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Colorado case in his letter requesting that Congress not renew a federal law that prevents the Department of Justice from spending federal funds to interfere with state MMJ laws and businesses.

The case, which includes 16 indictments, centers on a huge MJ trafficking operation that allegedly used legal businesses as a cover in Colorado, the Denver Post reported.

The trafficking operation was led by Michael Stonehouse, who allegedly used companies owned by businessman Scott Pack – Harmony Green LLC and HGCO LLC – and former state regulator Renee Rayton to shield the illegal operation from investigators, according to the Post.

“Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws,” Sessions wrote to Congress in May. “In particular, Cuban, Asian, Caucasian and Eurasian criminal organizations have established marijuana operations in state-approved marijuana markets. The individuals in these organizations often find a place for themselves within state regulatory systems.”

16 comments on “Colorado trafficking case may bode ill for marijuana industry
  1. Shane Mckee on

    Using one bad apple “or several” is reaching pretty far with all of the people in OUR Country that benefit from cannabis.
    If risk, reward, and common sense are used I’m certain legal cannabis would not even be on any law enforcement radar.

    Reply
  2. Pastor Woodrow Burchett on

    Jeff Sessions has a Reefer Madness Agenda he doesn’t care if the hundreds of thousands people being helped or that a vast majority of Americans support medical marijuana he would rather site 1 thing that’s went wrong and use it as a way of enforcing his anti cannabis position I want all Americans to bombard our congressman and representatives in Washington and President Trump letting them know if you allow Sessions to enforce his agenda toward cannabis thru the dept of Justice 2020 we will be voting those out the oppose states rights of medical marijuana and that marijuana needs to be removed from the federal scheduling they currently have it listed under Sessions prehistoric views toward marijuana will cost President Trump the 2020 election everyone needs to come together and let elected representatives know we will vote you out if you go against our state cannabis programs Jeff Sessions is a joke and yes Mr Sessions I was a good person when I served my country and received injurys that’s taken part of a leg and thigh and forced me to live with chronic pain and PTSD but I’m not a Good person because I and many others use medical marijuana for treatment instead of Opiods Yes Mr Sessions GOOD PEOPLE DO SMOKE POT! And MEDICAL MARIJUANA ISNT A HYPE you Mr Sessions are either uneducated about medical marijuana or you’ve got pharmaceutical company’s in your wallet opposing cannabis so they can sell us there high priced toxins that will kill us Remember the Opiod Crisis how convenient you so quickly forget that study’s do show medical marijuana has reduced Opiod Abuse but you choose to ignore these facts because they don’t match your Reefer Madness Agenda you need to educate yourself on medical marijuana or remove the lobbyists from your wallet get a life Mr Sessions President Trump needs to reign you in in medical marijuana

    Reply
  3. Andrew J. Colllier on

    Sucks he is the one saying it, but it is true to some degree. States like MA, PA, MN, NY etc. aren’t going to help with the strangling regs allowing black markets to keep thriving. CO is a little messed up, those states are disasters waiting to happen.

    Reply
  4. Clif Croan on

    “Medical cannabis” – an unfulfilled promise. I’m all for recreational cannabis but the lack of legitimate medical cannabis treatment… when we said that what it was all about… medical legitimacy… troubles some people. Where are the medical professionals and where are the legitimate treatment programs ? Yes, there are some folk doing research but honestly – does anyone actually believe there is a legitimate medical cannabis movement ? It was a selling point for red cannabis. A specious political ploy just like they do in DC. Imagine if Sessions mandated minimum medical standards of practice. Hmmm.

    Reply
    • Lance Brofman on

      There should not be any “medical cannabis” laws any more than there are “medical aspirin” “medical beer” or “medical cigars”. Liberty and the pursuit of happiness means that adults can use any of these products in a free country. Especially if adults can buy guns.

      Reply
    • Simon Hart on

      Hi Clif,
      Like Tom Gregory above, I also attended a medical cannabis conference in Boston last April which appropriately took place at a facility at Harvard University. Check this link out. Yes, there is a very active legitimate medical cannabis movement. Please be a part of it. Thank You. http://www.cannmedevents.com

      Reply
  5. clifton middleton on

    The herb business is the only honest, American Jobs Plan in existence. The Oligarchs have paid off the republicans to imprison and disenfranchise the people for growing our own freedom and independence.

    Reply
  6. Jeff on

    Nothing keeps the DOJ from going after these guys doing black market activity, because they are not protected unless they are operating within their state’s regulatory framework. There’s no need to repeal the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. Session’s is using one of those “throw out the baby with the bathwater” arguments that the powerful use when they can take one event and use it to make people scared. That would be like banning all air travel because of 9/11.

    Reply
  7. Rick Fague on

    Just another glaring example of how a couple of bad apples can ruin the whole barrel for everyone.

    The obvious solution is for the fed to take over for the states and standardize their enforcement efforts. There’s too much of a hodge podge effect because of all the different state laws.

    But that would mean the feds and/or Congress would have to get off their collective butts and agree on something for a change. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that, it’ll happen eventually but probably not for years to come.

    Reply
  8. Pam on

    Nixon Era paranoia all over again. This administration is gung-ho for weaponizing every person on the planet. Trump granted over $100 billion dollars in weapons to the United Arab Emirate terrorists who want to kill Americans. They’ll come over here, suicide bomb squad us giving him reason to weaponize law enforcement. Definitely prepare for the worse case scenario while these idiots are ruining not just our country but our planet too. Nixon Sched 1 pot to keep the protestors down, don’t think trump won’t do the same thing while he hides behind his viagra.

    Reply
  9. Go get em. on

    Yes its exactly as Jeff above said. No need to repeal as this type of action is already punishable. As a multi-decade cannabis veteran who is finally entering a legal limited licensing state highly regulated program, I just have no sympathy for those that get their licenses, I have the opportunity to make real money and put an entire industry In jeopardy. Many will say that you can’t be successful without black market sales but I just say they are poor businessmen and not growers. This group should be made an example of. And if the regulator is actually found to be complicit versus just wrapped up in a mess, they should be hung out to dry just like bad police and bad politicians…should.

    Unfortunately, redneck sessions will be able to convince some people but not many so may the rest of us continue to build the industry before he trys to knock it down. I live in a very rich area that is right next to heroinville in Baltimore. There are much bigger problems to be dealt with. sessions needs to be reminded of this every day.

    Reply
  10. John on

    1 problem that most don’t understand that Sessions owns stock in private prisons is his biggest goal is to become rich with his stock

    Reply

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