While Aaron Sandusky and his supporters contend he committed no crime under California state law, he stands to spend many years - and possibly the rest of his life - behind bars.
Sandusky was president of Upland-based G3 Holistic, a medical marijuana dispensary, which in California, is legal.
In October, however, he was convicted in federal court of eight counts related to growing, possessing and intending to sell marijuana for profit.
His case, one of a handful in which federal prosecutors have charged and convicted purveyors of medical marijuana in states where such use is legal, highlights a fundamental conflict between state and federal law at a time when public opposition to marijuana is waning.
"It really goes to the heart of federalism and the relationship between state government and state rights and federal government and federal power," said former U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Larson. "It's a classic contest between states' rights and federal power, and that contest needs to be resolved in courts and in Congress."