Owners of Sweet Leaf dispensary chain sentenced to a year in prison for illegal marijuana distribution | VailDaily.com

Owners of Sweet Leaf dispensary chain sentenced to a year in prison for illegal marijuana distribution

SAM TABACHNIK | The Denver Post

The glass counters and their jars of products in the dispensary resemble an 18th-century pharmacy. Many strains for sale have evocative and magical names like Blue Dream, Bubba Kush and Chocolope. But what does it all mean? Are there really differences in the medical qualities of the various strains? Or, are the different strains with the fanciful names all just advertising gimmicks?

In a landmark case involving licensed Colorado marijuana retailers, the owners of the shuttered Sweat Leaf dispensary chain each were sentenced to one year in prison Friday for their role in selling large quantities of pot to the same customers in the same day.

Christian Johnson, Matthew Aiken and Anthony Sauro each pleaded guilty in Denver District Court to violating the Colorado Organized Crime Act and illegally selling and distributing marijuana. Their plea deals stipulated one year in prison, followed by one year of mandatory parole and one year probation, to be served concurrently.

"I think this was obviously a first case in Colorado," lead prosecutor Kenneth Boyd said in an interview. "I think it was the first in the nation where a state prosecution office went after a licensed marijuana company. We did not see this scope with anybody else."

At the heart of Sweet Leaf case is a practice in the marijuana industry called "looping," where multiple times in a day, a customer would be allowed to buy the maximum amount of marijuana allowed under the law — one ounce — and do it over and over again.