City officials have snubbed media queries to disclose why criminal charges filed against a Cortez ganjapreneur went up in smoke.
In an exclusive interview last month, Garrett Smith, owner of The Herbal Alternative, described the municipal code enforcement summons he received over the summer for violating state marijuana law as “arbitrary.” Since, the code enforcement infraction has been dismissed.
“The Dec. 15th jury trial has been vacated,” said Municipal Court clerk Carla Odell.
Odell directed all further questions to City Attorney Mike Green, who declined to comment when asked why he opted not to prosecute the criminal summons.
“I don’t litigate my cases in the press,” Green said.
Boyd Neagle, the city’s first marijuana code enforcement officer, ticketed Smith for the violation on July 22, citing medical and recreational cannabis plants were both growing on a single tray inside the licensed marijuana facility.
Attempts to reach Neagle for comment this week were unsuccessful.
According to Smith, all the company’s medical and retail plants were clearly and individually tagged with appropriately colored radio frequency identification when ticketed by Neagle. State law requires canary-yellow labels be used to identify medical marijuana plants, and royal blue tags be used to mark retail marijuana plants.
Reached this week, Smith also declined to comment on the dropped criminal complaint.
In February, The Herbal Alternative became the first licensed retail marijuana operation in Cortez. Colorado became the first state to lift marijuana prohibition at the retail level on Jan. 1, 2014.