Federal agents raided marijuana dispensaries and growing sites in Colorado on Thursday, even though the Department of Justice has signaled it won’t interfere with state marijuana laws.
Loads of marijuana plants, cannabis-infused drinks, and other pot-related goods were confiscated in the raids by the DEA and the IRS, the Associated Press reports. It’s unclear how many sites were raided. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver said the action “comports with the Department’s recent guidance,” but did not elaborate further. The Department of Justice said in August that it wouldn’t interfere so long as states police black markets and keep the drug away from children and federal property.
Retail sales of marijuana for recreational purposes will get under way in January, after the state passed a referendum legalizing the drug last year. Dispensaries are already planning to sell recreational goods. Under existing law the dispensaries can only sell to those with medical permission.
“The Justice Department said it would respect states’ rights to regulate marijuana, and that it would not go after businesses as long as they are complying with state laws,” Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement. “We hope they are sticking to their word and not interfering with any state-regulated, law-abiding businesses.”