Black market marijuana bust leaves bruises on Colorado’s marijuana industry

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Posted: Tue 6:11 PM, Jul 25, 2017  |
Updated: Wed 6:46 AM, Jul 26, 2017

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Owners of a marijuana head shop in Colorado Springs were allegedly running a criminal enterprise that illegally distributed about 200 pounds of marijuana.

Thirteen people have been indicted in connection to the case, including Hoppz’ Cropz owners Joseph Hopper, Dara Wheatley, Joseph Sergio Crivici and Adam Donaldson.

The Colorado attorney general, flanked by several local law enforcement leaders, announced the indictments Tuesday.

“They are alleged to have conspired to purchase medical marijuana from licensed facilities and then resell it for profit under the guise of the marijuana being offered as a free giveaway with the purchase of a low-cost item at a dramatically inflated price,” said Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

According to Coffman’s office, one of the techniques they were using to move the marijuana was through selling cheap cigarette lighters at a high price while offering 1 gram of marijuana for free. For example, the shops would sell a lighter for $15 that was only worth 5 cents and then would “give away” 1 gram of marijuana for free. The street value of 1 gram of marijuana is about $15. By doing so, the business was evading paying fees regularly associated with retail recreational marijuana dispensary licensure and avoided excise taxes. For more


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