Massive illegal marijuana trafficking ring in Denver area busted
Group members also allegedly engaged in financial crimes, luring investors, including NFL football players Joel Dreessen and Erik Pears, by telling them their operation was legal
A Denver grand jury has indicted 62 people accused in a marijuana trafficking organization that reaped millions of dollars by illegally growing pot and then selling it out of state over a period of four years.
Group members also allegedly engaged in financial crimes, luring former Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen and other investors by telling them their operation was legal.
It was the largest marijuana bust in Colorado since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2014, and it reflected an increased law enforcement focus on gray market marijuana growers who export their product beyond state lines.
A series of large-scale busts have targeted gangs growing without state sanction and selling the product in states where marijuana remains illegal.
Nevada makes ’emergency’ changes to marijuana edibles law
Nevada marijuana dispensaries will have to get rid of certain edible products before this weekend due to new, last-minute regulations.
On Monday, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed a Department of Taxation statement of emergency that will allow the department to more strictly regulate marijuana edible products starting the same day as the state’s first recreational marijuana sales.
“The Governor wants to see the state realize the revenues from its sales, and most importantly, wants a regulatory structure that is restricted, responsible and respected,” said Mari St. Martin, spokeswoman for the governor’s office.
The new regulations, approved by the Nevada Tax Commission on Monday, prohibit marijuana dispensaries from selling the following for recreational use in Nevada:
- Any products that contain any more than 10 milligrams of THC per dose or more than 100 milligrams of THC per package.
- Any products that appear to be lollipops, ice cream or are modeled after a brand of products marketed to children.
- Any products that look like real or fictional characters or cartoons.
- Any products that apply THC to candy or snack foods other dried fruit, nuts or granola.
- Any cookie or brownie products that are not in a sealed, opaque bag.
- Any products that have images of cartoon characters, action figures, toys, balloons or mascots on the labeling.
Existing packaging that has such images must be covered by a sticker, label, or permanent marker so the image is completely obscured, according to a Department of Taxation email sent out to dispensaries on Wednesday.
Products being stored outside of consumer view do not need to have the images covered until they are placed on display or immediately prior to sale.
“From day one, we want to make sure that potency, packaging and labeling are strict from the start,” said Stephanie Klapstein, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Taxation.
The last-minute regulations also require packaging to have “THIS IS A MARIJUANA PRODUCT” in bold type, as well as the words “Keep out of reach of children” and a list of all ingredients.
The restrictions overlap with many of those detailed in legislation sponsored by Sen. Patricia Farley, Nonpartisan-Las Vegas, and passed by lawmakers earlier this month, but only some sections of the law go into effect July 1. Other portions go into effect on Oct. 1 and others go into effect in 2020.
Edibles, which come in the form of everything from gummy snacks to chocolate bars, often have potent doses of THC, Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Consumers usually have significantly delayed reactions.
New Washington state cannabis regulations reflect concern about federal threat
The new regulations apply a number of restrictions to the state’s market, though they also increase the number of retail outlets a license holder can hold from three to five.
Here are some other key points for marijuana business owners to consider:
- Dispensaries are required to ensure advertising doesn’t appeal to children.
- Firms can undertake trademark and licensing agreements and also protect trade secrets.
- Businesses that are approved for a license but fail to open a store within two years may have to surrender those permits.
- Dispensary or retail workers must be 21 or older.
- Recreational home growing remains illegal, but the state will study the possibility.