DENVER (CBS4) – The state of Colorado and city of Denver are conducting a joint investigation of several marijuana facilities that were raided by federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. But the head of the probe says they are having trouble getting information
The federal raids that occurred were apparently conducted as part of a federal grand jury investigation. Because of that the state and local authorities say they can’t get ahold of the information that led to the raids.
When federal authorities raided more than a dozen locations in late November they were operating with the permission of the state. Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division says it is conducting its own investigation with the city of Denver.
“We don’t have enough information because it is a federal grand jury investigation. The Department of Justice can’t release most of that information to us, so it makes it very difficult the way statutes are written for us to just go in and arbitrarily close them without doing our own investigation,” Marijuana Enforcement Division Director Ron Kammerzell said.
Kammerzell says several of the locations raided may be reopening soon. CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger learned the federal authorities are looking into whether a Colombia drug organization may have been operating in Colorado. He asked Kammerzell if they were looking into whether a cartel has entered Colorado’s marijuana industry.
“I really can’t comment on that, because again we are investigating it right now,” Kammerzell said. “Obviously we take this very seriously and we are looking into it.”
With recreational marijuana soon to join medical marijuana on sale in Colorado, Kammerzell’s division showed off its new way to track pot on Wednesday. It’s a computer system called “MITS” — Marijuana Inventory Tracking System. Each plant will have a tag that can be read by a scanner.
“When I pulled the trigger on this, audio showed me the plant is somewhere in the room,” Lewis Koski with the Marijuana Enforcement Division said while demonstrating the device.
With seed-to-sale tracking they are hoping to keep illegally grown plants from the black market out of a controlled inventory.
The state probe will determine whether the owners of the raided dispensaries will be allowed to keep their licenses. The federal investigation could lead to indictments and arrests.
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