"We're advising clients to be cautious," attorney Jessica Peck said.
Peck works with a number of people in the industry.
"Continue paying taxes, continue to only serve authorized patients and continue to go about your business," she said.
On Friday, the four primary federal prosecutors in California issued a stern warning to the industry.
"The law," U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said, "has been hijacked by profiteers who are motivated not by compassion but by money."
This week the prosecutors sent letters to dozens of property owners all over California suggesting they might attempt to seize properties that are used to facilitate operations that are in direct conflict with federal law.
"Our objective is not to forfeit the properties but to stop the illegal activity. But if we have to forfeit properties in order to enforce federal law, then we will do it," U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said. "We want landowners, potential investors and others who are tempted by the money in the marijuana industry to understand that these businesses are illegal and that the risk of prosecution and forfeiture is real."
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado declined to comment for this story, and because of that it remains unclear if federal prosecutors in Colorado will try to follow California's lead on this.
Michael Elliott is with the Colorado Medical Marijuana Industry group, a trade organization that represents a number of dispensaries in the state. He doesn't believe the warnings in California will inevitably be heard here.
"Comparing the two [state] systems is like comparing apples to oranges," he said. "In California, it's like a patchwork quilt of local ordinances that can conflict with each other."
Colorado's detailed state regulations could help insulate it.
It is Elliott's understanding that "medical marijuana patients in unambiguous compliance with state law will not be the target of federal prosecutors" under current Obama administration guidelines.
Colorado, as of last count, has more than 127,000 patients on the medical marijuana registry.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)