Man argues DC pot laws make brownie business legal

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A man accused of running a business known as "Kush Gods" that openly sold marijuana brownies and other pot-laced edibles on the streets of Washington has been released from custody — and he's anything but apologetic.

District of Columbia police announced Tuesday that Nicholas Cunningham, 30, and an employee, Evonne Lidoff, 18, were facing misdemeanor charges of marijuana distribution. They were released after their initial court appearances and ordered to stay away from the nightlife districts where police say they were operating.

Possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana for personal use is legal in the District of Columbia. It's also legal to grow pot at home, and to give it away. But selling the drug is illegal. That's why Kush Gods asked for "donations" rather than listing prices for its products.

"I know what I am doing is legal," Cunningham told The Washington Post after his court appearance.

Cunningham did not immediately respond to a text message from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday. His attorney did not return a phone message.

However, several messages were posted on the Kush Gods Twitter account, including one saying the business would reopen Saturday. Another tweet read, "ENTRAPMENT! When a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person is unlikely to commit!"

Police said in court documents that the Kush Gods investigation began in October and that an undercover officer bought pot from Cunningham on seven occasions. The officer bought pot-laced brownies, rice cakes and gummy-style candies along with loose marijuana, paying up to $550 at a time, according to the documents.

At the time of the arrests, police also seized three vehicles painted in a marijuana-leaf pattern with the "Kush Gods" logo. Police said pot-laced edibles were being sold from the vehicles in the Adams Morgan and Chinatown neighborhoods, both of which attract a youthful bar-hopping crowd.

Lidoff's attorney also did not return a phone message.


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