4

Medical marijuana lab raid by the DEA? Turns out the lab was (literally) asking for it

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Tension between medical-marijuana businesses and the feds ratcheted up two weeks ago when Drug Enforcement Administration agents rolled through Full Spectrum Laboratories, a Denver marijuana testing facility, seizing all pot samples they could find -- all while the lab's owners were at the Capitol testifying against a medical-marijuana bill.

Betty Aldworth, Full Spectrum's director of outreach, said they were caught off guard by the raid since they'd gone out of their way to be on the up-and-up, even formally applying for an analytical lab licensure through the DEA.

"We didn't need to do that, but we thought it was the right thing to do," she said at the time.

Turns out it wasn't the right thing to do -- since it apparently led DEA agents right to their door.

Along with investigating narcotics-related crimes, the DEA also regulates the pharmaceutical industry and businesses that dispense controlled substances, explains DEA special agent Mike Turner. "If a business applies for DEA registration, we have to conduct a site survey," he says. "If we do that and we see controlled substances in violation of federal law, we are not going to turn our back on that."

Full Spectrum's DEA license application? That doesn't look too good. As Turner puts it, "If, during the inspection of a location, the business is found to be violating federal law, I wouldn't think that would be in their favor."

The moral of this story? While your underlying intentions may be good, it's not a good idea to invite the DEA to come check out your stash.

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.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.