Late Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado indicated a shift in enforcement strategy regarding state-licensed marijuana businesses in Colorado. The acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer said in an interview with The Denver Post that his office is working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and drug task forces around Colorado to bring federal charges for illegal drug trafficking against an unnamed licensed chain.
The new prosecution approach could bring federal charges against marijuana companies operating in compliance with state law. The U.S. Attorney’s new litigation approach emphasizes public safety rather than state compliance because of his critique of allegedly vaguely written state laws that have supposedly led to an increase in black market marijuana and a spike in related violent crime. He also states more than once that investors in cannabis businesses that violate state law or otherwise operate outside the state-licensed system are at risk of prosecution.
Whether or not Troyer is correct in his analysis of the Colorado cannabis industry, he has signaled that businesses operating in compliance with state law could be prosecuted if they otherwise imperil public safety.
If Troyer’s comments raise concerns for you, contact McAllister Garfield, P.C.