Federal officials have now brought charges against ten additional people in Michigan for allegedly using the state medical marijuana program as a front for illegal sales and cultivation, bringing the total number of people “busted” in the sting to 37.
According to the feds, the group called themselves the Medical Marijuana Team and was growing in multiple small towns in the western part of the state as caregivers for medical marijuana patients.
The indictment says they had become a well-known medical marijuana caregiver group and would hold seminars for would-be patients telling them how to sign up with a doctor and, subsequently, sign the Medical Marijuana Team up as their primary growers. Federal officials say that the group was set up to harvest at least $3 million in cannabis.
Apparently, one of their biggest crimes was being too well-known. And legally selling medical herb at $180 to $220 an ounce when it was going for almost twice that in Michigan dispensaries when they were operating certainly would make anyone popular. It’s not like they were hiding anything, either. The indictment says they had t-shirts with the MMT logo on it and some of the collective allegedly have MMT tattoos.
“The conspirators were not attempting to alleviate the suffering of ‘patients’ assigned to them; rather, they were attempting to profit from the sale of the marijuana they produced,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Courtade wrote in the indictment.
The indictment says that the group “provided direct sales of marijuana to customers and actively recruited people to become ‘patients’ and to name MMT members as ‘caregivers’ so that the MMT could grow more marijuana. MMT members sold marijuana to other distributors as well as social users in amounts ranging from ounces and partial ounces to tens of pounds.”
The government is currently working to seize 11 of the homes used as grow operations as well as more than $1 million in alleged profits.