Colorado’s top fed prosecutor threatens clampdown on law-breaking cannabis businesses

Colorado’s U.S. attorney, Bob Troyer, said his office might take action against licensed marijuana businesses that violate state law or use their state-legal status “as a shield” while selling product on the black market.

Until now, federal officials in Colorado have largely focused on prosecuting entirely illegal marijuana grows – operations often concealed on federal forest land or inside houses.

“Now that federal enforcement has shot down marijuana grows on federal lands, the crosshairs may appropriately shift to the public harms caused by licensed businesses and their investors, particularly those who are not complying with state law or trying to use purported state compliance as a shield,” Troyer wrote in an op-ed published by the Denver Post.

Troyer also told the newspaper his office plans to take action soon against a Denver chain of marijuana dispensaries, but he did not identify the company or provide more details about its operations.

He described the business as an “illegal drug trafficking organization disguised as a legitimate” firm.

After voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2012, Colorado became the first state to broadly allow the sale of marijuana to adults alongside its existing medical cannabis industry.

State-tracked sales now total more than $1 billion per year.

Industry representatives say authorities should root out those using state law to hide illegal sales.

But it would be unfair to focus on state-licensed companies that strictly follow the laws, said Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a trade association.

“Targeting legal dispensaries that are doing their best to follow the letter of Colorado’s laws makes no sense without meeting with the owners and discussing their interpretation of the laws,” Kelly said.

– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily

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5 comments on “Colorado’s top fed prosecutor threatens clampdown on law-breaking cannabis businesses
  1. Brett Roper on

    This is not new news … Troyer has long been tepid to the industry as anyone can see reading anything he has interviewed for or provided responses to. He completely overemphasizes the illegal elements here in Colorado, ignoring a STRONG MED and the other 99+% of the license holders that are doing all they can to stay abreast of the everchanging legal landscape here in Colorado. If you are still operating today in Colorado as a law abiding MED compliant business, you should pat yourself on the back as you are part of the reason Cannabis initiatives are spreading out both here in the US as well as internationally! This goes for Washington state too, the second state to allow legal adult use Cannabis related products. THE US IS THE HOTBED OF INNOVATION IN THE CANNABIS SPACE GLOBALLY! What other country has the quality product (concentrates) base we have, the efficiency in cultivation, the well managed and compliant retail operations in 31 states? Perhaps one of these days the federal government will wake up to how they have negatively impacted legitimate businesses here in the US which as caused investment capital to flee to the north, simply because they choose to keep their head in the sand ignoring popular support. Ok, off my soap box for now. Thanks MJ Biz for providing such a robust forum for those with thoughts regarding this industry. You are to be commended and praised!

    • Maxcatski on

      The answer to your question, Brett, is Canada. Even better, our cannabis is legal all the way to the federal level.

      Completely, 100% legal. Ahh, Canada, land of the brave and home of the free!

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