Marijuana shops keeping close eye on possible federal enforcement

Pot shops wary of federal enforcement. 9NEWS at 10 p.m. 02/23/17

DENVER - Local marijuana businesses are keeping a close watch after the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested  the Trump administration may crack down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

We don't yet know what greater enforcement will mean but Thursday the President's press secretary did say they strongly differentiate between medical and recreational cannabis.

In Colorado alone legalized marijuana is a billion dollar industry.

In between the constant stream of customers at the Peak Dispensary on Broadway, the owner Justin Henderson said he knew there could be a day when the feud between state and federal governments over marijuana would take a turn against his business.
"It's been on the back of all of our minds in the industry for a very long time," said Henderson.
He says it's an awkward position to be in but it isn't stopping him from keeping his doors open. He's supporting 15 employees, who say there is a lot at stake.

"I have scoliosis. The lotions are incredible for relieving that musculoskeletal pain," said Katherine Bloodwell.

It meant little to them when the White House Press Secretary talked about the feds cracking down on pot but also drawing a distinction between medical and recreational use.

"I don't think really he understands how many people use the retail marijuana side, recreational side, for access to their medicine - for reasons like losing their job or insurance," said Henderson.

Some customers plan on buying pot legally as long as they can. A marijuana law attorney who appeared on Next said consumers won't necessarily be the target.

"I think that's very unlikely. If anything they are signaling a possible shift in enforcement for people selling or growing marijuana," said Brian Vicente with Vicente Sederbger LLC.
For now it's business as usual at Peak but Henderson says if this legal limbo turns into action it would most likely end up in court. But before getting to that stage, he's talking to dozens of local  marijuana businesses to create an envoy.

The goal is to go to D.C. to try to engage with the Trump Administration to get them to understand Colorado's pot industry better.


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