Medical marijuana: Ten dispensaries targeted in third wave of U.S. Attorney closure letters

The office of U.S. Attorney John Walsh has announced that it's sent closure-threat letters to ten dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools. This action represents the third wave of such missives: The first, in January, targeted 23 medical marijuana centers, while the second, in March, numbered 25. But when asked if the lower total meant today's action would conclude the operation, a Walsh rep offers a simple answer: no.

According to U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner, "There is likely going to be another phase."

This time around, the office has not released a redacted copy of the letter in question because "the text is identical to the letter in the second phase," Dorschner confirms.

The exception, of course, is a new date for closure: 45 days from today -- September 17.

Regarding the locations, Dorschner can't be specific. However, he does note that "there are some in metro Denver and a couple outside of metro Denver" -- and in all likelihood, the owners of the businesses in question don't yet know they're in the cross-hairs. As in the previous two waves, the news is being shared "the day the letters were put in the mail," he points out. "So the people who've been targeted should receive the letter early next week." That should make for a nervous weekend.

When asked for a comment about the reason for the letters, Dorschner defers to earlier explanations. Although various memos from the U.S. Justice Department have suggested that federal law enforcers should carefully consider enforcement action against operations that are following the law in states that have approved medical marijuana, Walsh has said protecting children and students from illegal drugs justifies the threat to seize merchandise and property if stores within 1,000 feet of schools don't close by the aforementioned deadline.

Here's a copy of the second-wave letter.

John Walsh Second Wave Dispensary Letter

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana power players write open letter to U.S. Attorney John Walsh."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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