Provider convicted in Montana medical pot case

September 27, 2012 - 8:35 PM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A jury has convicted a medical marijuana provider of drug trafficking charges in a major test of the U.S. government's raids of state-regulated pot dispensaries in Montana.

The jury found Chris Williams guilty Thursday of all eight charges, including conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute marijuana and firearms charges.

Williams was in charge of Montana Cannabis' Helena greenhouse, where federal agents confiscated 950 plants in March 2011. That operation was the biggest of the 26 large medical marijuana provider homes, offices and businesses raided that day across the state.

Williams wasn't permitted to argue that he followed state laws regulating medical marijuana. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen agreed with government prosecutors who said state law doesn't matter in cases involving the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Williams says he plans to appeal.