Even before Colorado became first in the nation to allow the recreational use of cannabis, one pioneer grew a single medical dispensary into a $100 million cannabis empire that extended across the state. But a biased investigation launched by an agent with a personal vendetta threatened to destroy the innovative empire that he had spent a decade building. Despite approving his cannabis license year after year, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (“MED”) suddenly denied his license and demanded that he disband his cannabis empire. Our client faced an impossible choice: either proceed to a regulatory hearing or accept the “deal” being offered by the MED – a deal that would require him to admit to allegations he knew to be false, shutter his businesses, pay a six-figure fine, and accept a lifetime banishment from the very industry he had helped establish. The MED investigators, represented by attorneys from the Colorado Attorney General’s office, believed its case to be unassailable. Fortunately, we were able to turn the tide in favor of our client. We launched our investigation and methodically retraced the MED’s investigative steps with the help of industry insiders and former MED officials. Their collective expertise helped to uncover numerous falsehoods and defects in the MED’s case. After we endorsed thirty witnesses for the administrative trial, we countersued the MED for constitutional violations. The strategy of creating two battlefronts in two different jurisdictions caused the Attorney General to withdraw and dismiss the action that would have destroyed our client’s company. In what became one of the MED’s only litigation losses, our client ultimately made no admissions of wrongdoing, paid no fine, and relinquished none of his ownership interests.
Related Practice Areas
- Crisis Management
- Cyber Crimes
- Disciplinary & Regulatory Actions
- Internal Compliance Investigations
- Public Corruption
- White-collar Crimes