Although Colorado has the country’s most lenient medical marijuana laws, one particular point in fact helps medical marijuana regulators and law enforcement officials find and shut down illegal commercial marijuana cultivations and prosecute those operating them. According to the Associated Press, Colorado is the only state that allows medical marijuana companies to profit from selling the drug, thus the companies are governed by strict business licensing requirements, making it easier for law enforcement to locate, raid, and prosecute illegal commercial growers of marijuana.
Before the implementation of marijuana business licensing requirements in 2010, dispensaries, infused product manufacturers, and cultivators operated without oversight. Although medical marijuana users were required to register with the state, businesses that cultivated and distributed the drug were not. This made it very difficult for law enforcement to identify who was cultivating the drug legally and who wasn’t.
The new business licensing regulation for medical marijuana companies provides state regulators and police with a strong distinction between legal and illegal commercial marijuana operations. The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division has a database of all medical marijuana businesses that have met the initial requirements to operate legally in Colorado. Most have not completed the licensing process due to extensive background checks and investigations of financial records. The database is accessible to law enforcement and is used to clearly determine legal medical marijuana businesses from illegal ones.
Although Colorado is improving their own medical marijuana regulations, the state still falls under the scrutiny of the federal government. It remains to be seen whether or not Colorado’s medical marijuana industry, even its regulators, will be prosecuted under federal law.
In such dynamic times as these, being charged with marijuana or other drug crime can be very confusing and complicated. Timothy Bussey, a knowledgeable Colorado drug crimes attorney, has a thorough understanding of Colorado’s marijuana and other drug laws and, by helping you build a strong defense, ensures that you will be treated justly. Contact Mr. Bussey today at 719-475-2555 to discuss your legal options.