Sweet Leaf, a successful canna-company operating a number of legally licensed cultivation and processing facilities as well as dispensaries all across the state, was the subject of a year-long investigation by local authorities working to crack down on “Looping,” the practice of selling customers more marijuana than state law allows.
Colorado law only allows a customer to buy one ounce of cannabis per day, but Sweet Leaf argued that this one-ounce limit was actually per transaction. The company reportedly used this justification to allow customers to purchase more pot than legally allowed, and continued to do so even after the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division specifically warned them to stop.
In March and April, Denver officials held hearings on disciplinary actions against stores accused of looping. Between 2016 and 2017, the attorneys estimated that one single Sweet Leaf dispensary made over 1,000 looping transactions, netting the company an additional $4 million. The company has the right to appeal this decision to the Denver District Court, but has not yet announced any intention of doing so. “Sweet Leaf’s illegal actions undermine the entire regulatory framework created by Amendment 64, the General Assembly and Denver City Council. This decision supports the will of the voters for a regulated legal marijuana market, safeguards the legal marijuana industry, and protects the safety and welfare of the public.”
Sweet Leaf still runs three other dispensaries in the state, which are not affected by this ruling and remain open. Many of the company’s budtenders had been arrested in connection with the investigation, but the majority of them have now been released without criminal charges.