A couple of medical marijuana dispensaries were discovered in Denver way back in October, 2012. Obviously, these weren’t dispensaries that operated legally, which is why they were investigated in the first place. Why anyone would go through with the effort of opening an illegal medical marijuana dispensary is beyond our comprehension as it is bound get shutdown in a very short period of time. Even California dispensaries got shut down for not sticking strictly to medical marijuana regulations, yet they were legal. As the inspection of the aforementioned dispensaries continued, the investigators found out that inventory wasn’t tracked properly and the plants they found lacked the necessary documentation.
In November, 2013, VIP Cannabis was raided, as well as three similar medical marijuana businesses. Additional, the businesses were given clear instruction not to sell any marijuana they might be storing. In fact, VIP cannabis even had a ganja cookie for sale on their Facebook page. How ludicrous is that? The spokeswoman for the Marijuana Enforcement Division said that they primary concern is public safety and allowing illegal medical marijuana dispensaries to operate was a direct threat to that safety. However, the businesses have to go through an administrative process, which means that the illegal dispensaries will have a chance to fight this thing in court through appeals and possibly fix the situation. In case everything goes down the drain, regardless of the number of appeals, then the businesses have to be shutdown forever and marijuana has to be destroyed in front of state officials.
Connection to Drug Cartels
Supposedly, the illegal businesses might be tied to the Columbian drug cartels and if that was true then the entire case far more serious implications than we originally thought. Of course, individuals that were arrested denied any connection to the drug cartels. Since Monday, there were a total of 8 businesses working with no license. Businesses suspected to be in relation to the drug cartels are: VIP Cannabis in Denver, Grateful Meds in Nederland, owned by David Furtado and Robert Gimenez; Kushism; and Highlands Cannabis Company, owned by John Esmeral. Kushism and Highland Cannabis Company have been closed from the day feds busted them open. Grateful Meds closed up shop when they stopped paying their lease, which was last month even though their violations were minor and fixed in a short period of time. VIP Cannabis hasn’t requested a court order, which would allow them to remain open. Instead, owners of VIP Cannabis stated clearly that they wanted to get out of the business as soon as possible. We’ll keep you posted on the future developments of the above mentioned raids but this is a clear message to everyone that Colorado is no place for illegal dispensaries, especially now when marijuana has been legalized for recreational use.