Fine assessed in Justice marijuana licenses revocation
MOFFAT — Following the receipt of a third-party Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request, it was learned that Whitney Justice, owner of Justice 420, LLC in Moffat, was assessed a fine in connection with her marijuana license revocations earlier this year.
According to a document received last week from the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) as a result of the CORA request, Justice paid a fine of $6,750 for violating state marijuana regulations. The license revocation agreement between Justice and DOR is dated April 5, 2019.
The action was taken after the investigation of a complaint received by DOR in 2018. Both Justice’s retail marijuana cultivation license and retail marijuana products manufacturing licenses were revoked.
The DOR Stipulation, Agreement and Order document cited Justice for leasing two portions of Justice 420, LLC to two industrial hemp operations without reporting the leases to the agency, a violation of state statute. According to DOR: “The cultivation of industrial hemp is a privilege granted by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, not by the State Licensing Authority. On May 15, 2018, Division investigators observed the cultivation of industrial hemp on the intended Licensed Premise.”
Initially it was reported that Moffat town clerk Sarah Van Horn told the Center Post-Dispatch Justice voluntarily surrendered her license. The DOR document obtained through the CORA request shows that following the investigation of a complaint received by DOR in Denver and Justice’s notice from DOR she was in violation of the state marijuana statutes, Justice did voluntarily surrender both her licenses “on or about Dec. 11, 2018.”
However, as explained in the DOR document, “Licensees submitted Voluntary Surrender requests… to the Division. Upon execution by the State Licensing Authority, the Division shall accept the Voluntary Surrender of those licenses, which shall act as a revocation of the licenses.’ The actual surrender is considered by DOR as a revocation.
Justice’s Associated Key License, Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility license and Retail Marijuana Products Manufacturing Facility license all expired Feb. 5 of 2019 and could not be renewed because of the action. The DOR document does not rule out the possibility of renewal of the licenses in the future, although the action against Justice would be considered in any request for license renewal.
In a footnote to the document, DOR states: “Although all Licenses expired on Feb.5, 2019, the expiration of the licenses shall not negate the authority of the State Licensing Authority to revoke the licenses. See 44-12-202(l)(a), C.R.S.”
The document also notes that, “Upon approval and order of the State Licensing Authority, this Order shall become a permanent part of the record and shall be open to public inspection and published pursuant to the Division’s standard policies and procedures or applicable law.”