Up in smoke?

By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 19, 2011

Those figures, which some Rhode Island advocates consider inflated, would seem to put the operation squarely in the sights of the Justice Department. The Cole memo, after all, laments that some of the planned "industrial marijuana cultivation centers" around the country "have revenue projections of millions of dollars based on the planned cultivation of tens of thousands of cannabis plants."

A representative for Summit did not return a call for comment.

But the talk of scale, legal loopholes, and testing the limits suggests that, for all the anxiety surrounding the Obama Administration's recent moves on medical marijuana, the country might just be engaged in a ho-hum return to familiar ground.

After a brief high for the marijuana movement with the Ogden memo, we might simply drop back into the haze that prevailed during the Clinton and Bush Administrations: legal gray areas, raids from time to time, and slowed — but still steady — growth for medical pot.

David Scharfenberg can be reached at dscharfenberg@phx.com.

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