Do you remember the name Charlo Green? She's the Alaska-based former TV reporter who quit her job in spectacular fashion last year, admitting she was the owner of a cannabis club right before concluding her live report with "Fuck it, I quit." Since then, some people have understandably wondered what she's been up to, and how the whole process of moving from on-screen news talent to marijuana industry maven has gone. Well, there's some bad news on that front: Charlo Greene's Alaska marijuana business got raided by the police Friday, taking away some plants and computers, and impounding two vehicles from her business.
Now, odds are Greene understood something like this might happen someday. While marijuana has been legalized in Alaska for recreational use, it's still illegal to sell, a strange state of legal affairs if ever there was one. And even if you're doing things entirely on the up-and-up, marijuana is still a federally banned substance, a Schedule 1 drug in the eyes of the DEA. While the details in Greene's case aren't yet clear, she's far from the first aspiring marijuana entrepreneur to run into the law, though notably this was a state seizure, not a federal one.
Green's Alaska Cannabis Club was served with a warrant Friday afternoon, and she told local CBS affiliate KTVA (hey, that's where she used to work!) that the authorities nabbed "a couple of marijuana plants. They took some bongs and pipes and phones and computers and that’s pretty much it." She insisted that her club didn't sell any recreational or medical marijuana, and is rather a place for people to hang out and smoke their own.
This is basically a medical marijuana dispensary. We don’t sell any recreational marijuana, we don’t sell any medical marijuana. This is a place for card holders to come and share their own cannabis.
For its part, the Alaska Police Department spokesperson told KTVA that they had received reports of "the illegal sale of marijuana and other derivatives" at Greene's club. By "other derivatives," it's likely the police were referring to THC concentrates like hash oils, resins and the like — the search warrant served against Greene mentioned such substances specifically.
Regardless, this is a weird story to read at face-value, considering Alaska's voters approved recreational pot just last fall. There's a gap between voter approval and when the state's regulatory structure is fully worked out, however, and that's the tenuous legal environment marijuana in Alaska essentially exists in right now. It's expected to take until 2016 for legal recreational sales to actually go forward, so until then, Greene (and any other ambitious entrants into the marijuana business) have to tread carefully.