Judge allows case with ex-execs at marijuana firm Vireo to proceed

Did you miss the webinar “Women Leaders in Cannabis: Shattering the Grass Ceiling?” Head to MJBiz YouTube to watch it now!

A Minnesota judge has given the green light for an interstate marijuana smuggling case to move forward.

Judge Kathleen Mottl denied legal motions filed on behalf of two former employees of Vireo Health – a multistate medical marijuana producer – seeking the dismissal of criminal charges in the illegal cannabis transportation case, The Journal News of New York reported.

The case could be groundbreaking, as it involves one of the largest state-licensed marijuana companies in the nation and comes at a time when federal cannabis policy is in flux.

The judge wrote that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal trial against defendants Laura Bultman and Ronald Owens, both former Vireo executives, who are charged with illegally smuggling $500,000 of cannabis oil from Minnesota to New York, according to the newspaper.

In ruling that the case could proceed, the judge noted that Vireo – which has operations in Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania – isn’t suspected of any wrongdoing and that Bultman and Owens were “working on their own behalf and not as agents” of the company or any of its state affiliates.

Regardless, the case will have implications for state regulations and likely oversight practices by industry regulators, The Journal News reported.