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Colorado pot shops seek clearer planting rule

July 10, 2012 at 5:25 PM
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DENVER, July 10 (UPI) -- A lawsuit contends Colorado failed to clarify a key component of its medical-marijuana laws and that led to the arrest of two dispensary owners.

The two dispensary owners said the Department of Revenue failed to specify exactly when dispensaries are allowed to grow pot plants on behalf of their patients, and argued that supposed confusion resulted in their arrest on criminal charges.

"These center owners are not in the business to commit felonies," Attorney Sean McAllister said in the lawsuit, which was filed in Denver state court. "They are in business to comply with the law. ... They cannot comply with the law if it is ambiguous and results in an unclear application."

The Denver Post said the specific issue is when dispensaries can begin growing plants on behalf of their customers: Is it at the time the prospective patient's application is received or when the application is formally approved at a later date?

The dispensary owners – Michael Kopta and Alvida Hillery, both of Colorado Springs – planted at the time of application and were busted for violating the limits on how many plants they can cultivate. They asked in their suit that the Department of Revenue be ordered to clarify the rule.

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