Colorado Sees Decline in Medical Marijuana Sellers

Has shrunk more than 40 percent


Michael Lee is not a man who gives up easily.

When he opened his doors in 2005 as what he believes to be the first medical-marijuana dispensary in the state, he didn't know if police would come right through them and haul him off to jail.

He's been robbed. He's been audited by the Internal Revenue Service. To measure the potency of his product, he opened a marijuana-testing lab — which the Drug Enforcement Administration raided. And just months ago, he escaped felony charges alleging he was cultivating too many marijuana plants at his dispensary, Cannabis Therapeutics in Colorado Springs.

But neither cops nor prosecutors nor feds have matched up to his greatest challenge: enduring in a regulated, maturing medical-marijuana marketplace.