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Home / Legal / State Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Execs Highlights Risks to Avoid, Lawyers Say

State Prosecution of Medical Marijuana Execs Highlights Risks to Avoid, Lawyers Say

By Kristen Rasmussen

Felony state drug smuggling charges pending in Minnesota against two former executives of a medical marijuana dispensary highlight the difficulties of operating in an industry where state and federal laws are at odds.

That may be especially true now that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the so-called Cole memo, which formerly told federal prosecutors to focus on drug cartels and cross-border trafficking, not marijuana outlets complying with state regulatory schemes, legal experts say.

In the Minnesota case, the former chief medical officer and security officer of medical marijuana company Vireo Health LLC, Dr. Laura Bultman and Ronald Owens, respectively, are charged in Minnesota state court with illegally transferring medical cannabis across state lines. They were charged after they allegedly transported cannabis oil in 2016 to New York to keep the company from missing a state deadline to start business there under a newly enacted New York law allowing medical marijuana distribution, according to court documents and news reports. Vireo Health, based in Minneapolis, is the parent company of medical marijuana dispensaries in Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.

Read more at The National Law Journal

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