Anna Cozy, the owner of Colorado Alternative Medicine in South Denver, has been arrested and accused of faking documents related to her marijuana business and supplying them to inspectors. According to a report from the Denver D.A.'s office, Cozy was charged with two counts of attempting to influence a public servant and three counts of forgery.
According to the arrest affidavit on view below, the investigation started in late November, after a Marijuana Enforcement Division investigator suspected Cozy of handing over forged documents regarding a Marijuana Infused Product (MIPs) license and the store's grow operation.
A MED investigator quoted in the police report said that Cozy told him she had transferred her state medical MIP from a location on Delaware Street to another on Ironton Street. The only problem, according to the investigator, is that the MED didn't have any paperwork regarding the license transfer. The MED looked into it further and physically inspected the Ironton Street location with Cozy in tow, but she was unable to give them any proof of the Denver licenses. According to the MED, that's because there were no active licenses for MIPS at either location.
A few days later, on November 25, the investigators again asked Cozy about the lack of licenses, the affidavit maintains, and when she was unable to produce one for the medical or retail MIP for either of the reported locations, the MED put another hold on Cozy's licenses and took any and all products made at the location off of the shelves at CAM. While at the location for the inspection, Cozy gave state investigators medical and retail grow licenses from the City of Denver. But there was a problem: The paperwork she handed over had the same grow license identification number for medical and recreational documents.
The next day, Denver Excise and Licensing apparently called Cozy to ask for copies of her business liceneses. After some back-and-forth via e-mail, Cozy sent over scanned copies to the Denver Excise and Licensing department. But what she provided didn't add up, the affidavit states. Notably, the Denver license wasn't signed by the Director of Excise and Licensing. Instead, the signature line had some random characters in it ("&i:At____"). That led Excise and Licensing to conclude that three of the five documents "appeared to have been falsely made or altered".
Specifically: a copy of the store's medical MIP license didn't jibe with records showing that the department only had an application on file (no license was issued). The license also had spelling errors on it ("FLE" instead of "FILE"), no state license number and no "double line box" around the expiration date -- plus, the alignment of logos and addresses didn't match up, the director's signature was missing, a parenthesis around a department phone number shouldn't have been there and the two addresses didn't match up. And that's just the medical MIP license.
Investigators say Cozy or someone with CAM seems to have forged the Denver retail marijuana grow license to include the dispensary's medical grow license number. The license also had invalid expiration dates, as well as a faked date of filing and incorrect license fees (listed as $3,000 when it's actually $5,000) -- not to mention the fact that there is no Excise department record of any retail grow at Ironton.
After giving these forms to Denver Excise and Licensing, Cozy apparently provided them to the MED investigator looking into the whole ordeal, too. He matched those up with the first documents and found they didn't match up. Notably, the business name was spelled out in one and not the other -- and there were incomplete signatures and an incorrect Department of Revenue code.
For her part, Cozy allegedly admitted to the inspectors that she had faked it all, more or less. When confronted about the documents on December 4 during a subsequent inspection of the Ironton location, Cozy supposedly told investigators that she "panicked." At that point, Cozy's attorneys (who were already there with her) advised her to shut up. The Denver Excise and Licensing officer then issued her three tickets for the forged documents.
We reached out to Cozy via an e-mail to CAM yesterday but did not get a response.
Ironically, when we spoke to Cozy in October of 2011 during the then-current rush of medical marijuana applications, she talked about being understanding with state licensing officials who were working through medical pot applications.
"We can't be impatient," she said at the time. "It's a learning experience right now for everyone. We just have to give them that leeway and we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. You know, give them positive reinforcement instead of constantly complaining."
MED officials tell us that because the Cozy case is an open investigation, they can't comment any further. But they did tell us that, generally speaking, those facing such charges could see anything from huge fines to the loss of their shop and license.
According to state statutes, failure to notify the department of a transfer can result in $5,000 in fines. Operating a business without approval from the state "shall result in the automatic revocation of any license issued pursuant to this article and the denial of any future license issued."
Look below to see a larger version of Cozy's booking photo, followed by her arrest affidavit.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.