Westword recently reported that the “Sweet Leaf raids cast shadow over pot industry.”
We get why Westword would take the leap. When one of us in the cannabis industry is accused of bad practices, it can impact all of us. To be clear – the claims against Sweet Leaf remain only allegations as a judicial and licensure process continues.
What we know, according to a City of Denver press release, is that “the Denver Police Department and several partnering agencies (last month) conducted an enforcement operation at eight Denver-area Sweet Leaf locations. The operation is the result of an extensive, year-long criminal investigation into illegal distribution of marijuana at those locations.”
The Cannabist later reported that a Denver Police Department search warrant affidavit highlighted multiple incidents of “looping” at Sweet Leaf, in which individuals would make repeated purchases of 1 ounce of recreational marijuana – the maximum allowed for purchase and possession, per Colorado law – several times a day.
Officers arrested a total of 15 suspects for investigation of illegal distribution of marijuana. Sweet Leaf owners have not been charged in the case, though several Sweet Leaf locations were shut down pending the investigation. A licensure hearing in front of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses was scheduled for Jan. 12, but the company has been granted a continuance until March 14.
While the allegations could prove to “cast shadow over pot industry,” it should be noted that most in the industry are taking the rules very seriously. Terrapin Care Station recently took steps to remind customers that it is illegal to exceed state daily limits on marijuana purchases. Customers are greeted with video slides reminding them of the law.
As I recently pointed out to Westword in my role as communications director for Terrapin Care Station, if there are bad actors in the cannabis industry, the state’s expansive cannabis regulatory system will identify them and shut those businesses down.
Instead of “casting a shadow” over the cannabis industry, enforcement actions prove that the state’s regulatory system is working.