Former Marijuana Regulator's Charges Dropped in Connection to 2017 Bust

Scott Pack, seen here in a 2015 Facebook post, was the head of a marijuana scheme.
Scott Pack, seen here in a 2015 Facebook post, was the head of a marijuana scheme.
Scott Pack Facebook
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The four-year-old charges against a former Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division employee that connected her to an illegal marijuana scheme have been dropped.

Renee Rayton was indicted along with nineteen others by an Arapahoe County grand jury in 2017, shortly after she left her job at the MED, and accused of being part of a marijuana trafficking ring and fraud scheme. The operation, led by Colorado businessman Scott Pack, was using Pack's marijuana business licenses to produce marijuana without making legal sales, according to court documents; instead, Pack and his associates made millions by selling the marijuana on the black market instead.

The case caught the notice of then-United States Attorney General (and staunch marijuana opponent) Jeff Sessions, and Rayton's reported involvement was highlighted in the national media.

Pack was convicted of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act and securities fraud, among other crimes. He received a twelve-year prison sentence last year, but Rayton's case wasn't resolved until last month.

Rayton had left her job as a marijuana compliance inspector with the MED in 2016, according to the indictment. Former MED employees are required to wait six months before working in the industry they previously regulated, but by early 2017, Rayton was working as a compliance consultant for Pack.

The indictment accused Rayton of making $8,000 a month working for Pack's illegal marijuana ring. She was arrested and charged with conspiracy to illegally grow pot in June 2017.

At the time, Rayton’s attorney told the Associated Press that her client was innocent. And in June, after the attorney filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Rayton, the court complied.

In his filing, John Kellner, District Attorney for Colorado's Eighteenth Judicial District in Arapahoe County, says that the charges against Rayton were dismissed over "conflicting evidence about the defendant’s knowledge of the criminal conspiracy in this case," and notes that the district attorney's office didn't believe it could prove her criminal involvement beyond a reasonable doubt.

Asked about the dismissal of the charges, the MED released the following statement:

"The MED was initially notified of this investigation in March of 2017. Due to the matter involving a former employee, MED leadership requested the assistance of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct an independent inquiry to ensure there were no additional areas of concern. We have no further comment."

Neither Rayton nor her attorney could be reached for comment.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.