Federal officials have seized 1,000 bags from Boulder-based Stashlogix after identifying the product — lockable, odor-blocking containers used to store marijuana or other medications — as drug paraphernalia.
Company officials said the decision will cost them tens of thousands of dollars and force them to bring manufacturing into the U.S. to avoid customs.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, in April sent a letter to Stashlogix which said the bags could not be imported. Two weeks ago, the company received another letter stating that its most recent order had been confiscated at the Long Beach port. Stashlogix is pursuing an appeal.
Stashlogix founder Skip Stone said the bags themselves cost $15,500. The company had to forfeit an additional $18,000 worth of raw materials overseas, which also means they need to find a U.S. manufacturer, and fast.
“We have about four months of inventory on-hand (that) we can sell in order to get production started in the U.S.,” Stone said. “We’ve laid off everybody; we’re just trying to survive.”
Under federal law, drug paraphernalia is defined as “any equipment, product or material of any kind which is primarily intended or designed for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, concealing, producing, processing, preparing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance.”
Marijuana is legal for medicinal or recreational use, or both, in 29 states and the District of Columbia. Jaime Ruiz, a public affairs agent with the CBP, said that because it remains illegal under federal law, importing any drug or associated products into the country is prohibited, even if it comes through a port in a state where pot is allowed.
Ruiz declined to comment on the specific case because it is ongoing.