Colorado Indictment Attacks Marijuana ‘Gray Market’

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A Denver grand jury 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, the Denver Post reports. 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 a 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. Andrew Freedman, a cannabis regulation consultant for states and cities, said he is hopeful that state legislation passed this year will make it more difficult for criminals to grow quantities of weed bound for the gray market while pretending to have a legal interest in the business.

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