Charges Dropped Against Budtenders Accused Of Overselling Marijuana
DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) - Charges are dismissed for 18 Sweet Leaf dispensary employees who allegedly oversold marijuana to customers.
The employees' arrests were the results of an undercover police sting in December of 2017. The city shut down eight of the company's pot shops, accused of endangering public safety.
Deann Miller was one of the budtenders who officers arrested. On Friday, the Denver District Attorney's Office dropped charges against her and 17 of her former colleagues.
"My attorney called me. That was a happy day," Miller told CBS4's Melissa Garcia.
The mother of three says her arrest and loss of a job put her out of work for four months.
"It was horrible. It was so unexpected," Miller said.
In a year-long undercover investigation, Denver police officers accused the pot shop and seven other Sweet Leaf dispensaries of selling more than 10 times what's allowed under state law. "Looping," alleges that the same buyer returns multiple times in a row to buy more marijuana than permitted in Colorado statute.
Miller said she was unaware of any wrongdoing.
"If I was doing something wrong, I feel like somebody should have told me. I still don't feel like I did anything wrong," Miller said.
Prior to the dismissal, she had been set to stand trial on Monday facing charges of felony drug distribution and misdemeanor possession.
"I'm so happy to be able to just move on with my life. Because I felt like what they were threatening me with was my job," Miller said.
According to the Denver DA's Office, charges against the last of the arrested employees have been dismissed, with some of them agreeing to community service and charity payments.
In a statement, Ken Lane, spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney's office said:
While the budtenders were the point of sale in the distribution and possession of illegal amounts of marijuana, the larger scheme involving Sweet Leaf remains under investigation, and is being considered by the Denver grand jury. Since December 2017 we have learned more about the overall enterprise and scheme, and what roles various individuals played in the overall enterprise. We anticipate that this investigation will result in further criminal legal action.
Rob Corry, Miller's attorney, said that in 2017, Colorado law limited sales to no more than one ounce per transaction, a limit that has since changed to no more than one ounce per day.
Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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