Last Friday, four U.S. attorneys for the state of California announced there would be no quarter given for medical marijuana dispensary owners.
"The statewide enforcement effort is aimed at curtailing the large, for-profit marijuana industry that has developed since the passage of California's Proposition 215 in 1996," says a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice, which notified some 15 dispensaries to shut down within 45 days or face criminal charges. "That industry has swelled to include numerous drug-trafficking enterprises that operate commercial grow operations, intricate distribution systems and hundreds of marijuana stores across the state — even though the federal Controlled Substances Act makes illegal the sale and distribution of marijuana."
The announcement drew concern from local advocates, with Colorado Springs attorney Clifton Black saying by e-mail, "It scares the crap out of me. I have a sick feeling."
We contacted Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh for comment, with no response. Still, Michael Elliott thinks there's less reason to worry here.
"Colorado's comprehensive regulatory scheme, which requires background checks, licensing, seed-to-sale tracking, and harsh penalties for non-compliance, serves as a new paradigm for medical cannabis regulation nationwide," reads a release from the executive director of the Denver-based Medical Marijuana Industry Group. "Conversely, California's patchwork quilt of often-conflicting ordinances is an invitation for chaos."
As of Friday, Oct. 14, the largest voice in scientific cannabis testing in Colorado, Full Spectrum Labs, is shutting down due to the lack of a yet-to-be-created state license, Westword reports, but will likely reopen at a later time.
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