NC man accused of running marijuana ‘research operation’

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FLETCHER, N.C. — A North Carolina man accused of growing and selling marijuana said he has documentation that makes it legal.

Black Mountain News reported that 42-year-old Todd Stimson said he’s been openly running his marijuana “research operation” out of his Fletcher home since 2011.

Police said they raided Blue Ridge Medical Cannabis Research Corp. on July 11, seizing dozens of marijuana plants.

The suspect faces various charges including manufacturing a controlled substance and felony marijuana possession.

But Stimson said he obtained a privilege license for the art of healing through the Department of Revenue three times since 2011.

He also said he has articles of incorporation obtained from the N.C. Department of the Secretary of State, explaining his business and its educational and scientific goals.

Stimson said cancer patients benefited from his gift bags which included educational materials and cannabis.

He also said that state government and local police benefited from the tax stamps he bought for his plants.

But buying stamps only fulfills an unauthorized substance tax obligation, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue’s website subsection about unauthorized substances tax.

The website explains that people who buy stamps will still be violating North Carolina criminal statutes for possessing drugs.

Stimson said about 50 officers swarmed his home during the raid and a SWAT team entered with AK-47s, putting his family in danger. Police have not responded to those claims.

The Fletcher Police Department has reportedly been investigating the Blue Ridge Medical Cannabis Research Corp. since Aug. 2011.

The suspect said he is facing five to 10 years in prison. Stimson said it cost him $2,200 to get out of jail. He has court planned for Aug. 2.

Source: Black Mountain News

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