DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado’s only university dedicated to medical marijuana has closed after the state suddenly suspended its license.
Greenway University taught classes, including the history of marijuana and to how to tend the plants, but the closure has nothing to do with the subject matter.
The license was suspended after Greenway University filed a federal lawsuit against an Arizona company. That firm’s lawyer then did some digging and notified the state that Greenway’s leaders may have lied on their application.
The action was taken by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
“There was reason to believe that they falsely presented themselves in their original application properly,” Chad Marturano with the Colorado Department of Higher Education said.
The application asked if the officers had been convicted of a felony or had a license denied. The answer was “no.” But it turns out Greenway CEO Gus Escamilla has a felony conviction for misappropriation of business funds and probation violation in California.
Greenway Chancellor Marc Kent was convicted of insurance fraud and relinquished his law license.
Last month Escamilla gave CBS4’s Rick Sallinger a tour through his school, which he touted as the first such licensed medical marijuana university in the country.
“The state of Colorado is very kind to us. We’re very fortunate to have gained that acceptance and held it with a tremendous amount of esteem,” Escamilla said at the time.
The closure does not please former student Aaron Smith, who says the State Division of Private Occupational Schools should have done its background check before he invested thousands in his education.
“They should know ahead of time Greenway doesn’t meet the qualifications to being a university,” Smith said.
The state says no criminal background check of schools like Greenway was required, but that could change in the future.
Escamilla told the state his felony conviction was the result of a bookkeeper putting funds into his private account by mistake in California. He said he was battling cancer at the time and thought that conviction had been removed from his record.