According to the DEA, 18 percent of medical marijuana center owners have been convicted of felonies. In addition, more than half of the medical marijuana center owners in Colorado have criminal arrest or conviction records. These owners have been convicted of crimes such as dealing drugs, sexual assaults, burglaries and weapons charges.
Kevin Merrill, assistant special agent in charge for the Denver field division said, “This business seems to have an inappropriate number of people with criminal backgrounds involved as business owners.” This is a “Duh” moment to say the least.
He continues, “I would be hard-pressed to find any other business group where their members have so many criminal violations, arrests and convictions.”- Another “Duh” moment.
DEA statistics show while only 8 percent of Colorado’s adult population has been arrested for drug crimes, 28 percent of the medical marijuana center owners have drug histories. Statistics show that charges include 77 cases of assault, 22 burglaries, 34 cases of domestic violence, 11 rapes, 29 weapons charges and four arrests for murder, attempted murder and/or involvement in a homicide.
However, beginning August 1st when new rules take effect, these felons will be denied business licenses for their medical marijuana business. The rules prohibit anyone with a drug felony conviction or anyone with a felony sentence within the last five years from obtaining a medical marijuana center license in Colorado.
In addition, the licensing fees are high which may discourage business owners to apply for a license. As a result the state expects that the number of medical marijuana centers in the state to be reduced by 50 percent. Currently, 1,100 medical marijuana centers are operating in Colorado.