Search Results: leibenguth (5)

Think two years in jail and four years on probation is too much for someone to spend in jail for growing medical cannabis? Of course you do, you have a heart and a brain.
But federal prosecutors in Montana feel differently, and are pushing to increase the sentences handed down by a District court judge earlier this spring on four medical cannabis growers, including a former University of Montana quarterback.

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​It’s time for Montana to stand up to the federal government over medical marijuana, just as it has over other states’ rights issues, a medical marijuana dispensary owner told a news conference on Thursday.

“You’ll go against them for wolves, you’ll go against them for buffalo, you’ll go against them for guns, but (for) marijuana, there’s no backbone in the state,” said Randy Leibenguth, who ran MCM Caregivers until it was raided by federal agents in March, reports Charles S. Johnson of the Helena Independent Record. “I think our state needs to have the backbone and stand up for this.”
“Without the Legislature’s backing wholeheartedly, we’re sitting there with our butts in the wind until something is written that works for everyone,” Leibenguth said.

Photo: Eliza Wiley/Helena Independent Record
Chris Williams of the Montana Caregivers Association watches as DEA agents and local law enforcement raid his Montana Cannabis grow operation on March 14. Willliams is now suing the federal government.

​Two Montana medical marijuana providers have accused the United States government of civil rights violations in what is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind, in response to a federal crackdown on medicinal cannabis operations nationwide.

The owners of Montana Caregivers Association and MCM Caregivers said that federal raids on medical marijuana businesses across Montana in March were unconstitutional, exceeded the government’s authority and preempted the states’ medical marijuana law, reports Matt Volz at the Associated Press. Montana’s medicinal cannabis law was approved by an overwhelming 62 percent of voters in 2000.

Photo: THC Finder
Dumb-ass DEA agents felt they needed to wear masks and respirators while raiding and killing medical marijuana gardens in Montana on Monday, because otherwise they might get some of that evil cannabis on them.

​There are still no charges related to this week’s medical marijuana dispensary raids across Montana, but an examination of civil seizure warrants reveals a possible motive behind the raids: The warrants authorized federal agents to “seize” more than $4.2 million from dispensary bank accounts.

Following what authorities claimed was an 18-month investigation, 26 search warrants targeting seven dispensaries were executed on Monday, reports Angela Brandt at the Helena Independent Record. Federal agents claimed they were looking for evidence of “large-scale trafficking” as well as tax evasion.

Chad Harder/Missoula Independent
Michael Geci, M.D.: “If you are going to call cannabis a medicine, you have to treat it like a medicine”

​For the first time in Montana, a lab has agreed to test all cannabis and cannabis-based medicine that a local caregiver sells to qualified patients under the state’s medical marijuana law.

MCM Caregivers late last week signed a contract with Montana Botanical Analysis (MBA) of Bozeman, the first such arrangement in the state’s burgeoning medical cannabis market where a caregiver or dispensary has contracted to have all its medicine tested.
“Despite all the bad press that’s been generated, mostly by just or or two highly visible personalities, the medical cannabis industry is rapidly moving towards standards of quality control that have been completely absent,” said Michael Geci, M.D., who serves as CEO of Montana Botanical Analysis.
“Having all of our cannabis medicine tested by MBA is a real milestone in the maturity of the medical cannabis industry in Montana,” said owner Randy Leibenguth of MCM Caregivers. “Having our product tested by MBA provides a level of product safety and consumer protection for our patients they need and deserve.”
Standards are essential in the medical marijuana industry, according to Leibenguth. “This kind of positive news helps to calm the fears of the public that this industry is out of control,” he said. “People should remember that this testing program is completely voluntary. I’m paying for it out of my own pocket.”