- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The owners of two marijuana delivery services and the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club in Anchorage have been charged with drug crimes for the delivery and possession of marijuana.

Undercover officers made multiple marijuana purchases from each business before charging them with misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth-degree, a felony, and in the fifth-degree, a misdemeanor, according to the Alaska Dispatch News (https://goo.gl/MQgdEq ).

“We wanted there to be a clear message that for the marijuana industry, you need to follow the regulations and do so in a legal fashion,” said Alaska Department of Law Criminal Division Director John Skidmore.

State regulators have said the businesses were operating illegally, and each of them had been the target of police raids in the past.

The business owners insist they were operating legally.

Rocky Burns, co-owner of Discreet Deliveries, said he’s proud of the seven felony counts and one misdemeanor he was charged with Friday. He said going to court will help his cause.

“At least finally someone will listen. That’s it. All I’ve been asking for is due process, so it’s good,” Burns said.

His partner, Larry Stamper, was not charged.

Michael Crites, owner of Absolutely Chronic Delivery Co., was charged with five felonies and one misdemeanor. Anchorage police bought marijuana from the business five times between May and August.

The third owner, Charlene Egbe, who goes by Charlo Greene and runs the Alaska Cannabis Club, was charged with four felony counts and four misdemeanors.

“I really hope the people I fight for will now show their support for me and everything I stand for by donating to my legal defense fund,” Greene said.

Alaska voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2014, but the state’s criminal statutes were not amended by the Legislature. Conduct not specifically outlined in the initiative remains illegal, including selling marijuana without receiving a license from the state Marijuana Control Board.

Skidmore said none of the drivers of the businesses or people who purchase marijuana from them will face charges and that the Department of Law is not discriminating against marijuana distribution.

“Rather, we want to make sure the will of the people is complied with and in these cases,” he said, “these are three businesses that were very flagrantly selling marijuana and making it known to the public, talking about what they were doing (without following regulations).”

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Information from: Alaska Dispatch News, https://www.adn.com

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