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Dispensing with Dispensaries

OPB | July 22, 2011 9:25 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 10:21 p.m.

A ballot measure that would have allowed dispensaries, where people could buy pot, failed last year. Shortly after that, private clubs began popping up, making pot available only to their members who were required to have medical marijuana cards. They didn’t exactly sell anything, but did accept reimbursement for growers. Earlier this summer, people operating these clubs as well as property owners who leased to them received a letter (pdf) from U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton’s office. The letter referred to the clubs as dispensaries and stated,

Knowingly financing a marijuana dispensary or allowing one to operate on your property also violates federal law and could subject financiers and landlords to civil and criminal penalties – including forfeiture of any assets used in support of the criminal enterprise.

As a result, at least one club has shut down at the request of the property owner from whom they were leasing. In spite of all this, a new private marijuana club has just opened in Milwaukie.

Do you have a medical marijuana card in either Oregon or Washington? Are you a member of a medical marijuana club? Have you leased property to one of these clubs? Is there a medical marijuana club in your neighborhood?


  • Dwight Holton: U.S. Attorney for Oregon
  • Steve Geiger: Owner of High-Way 420 and Executive Director of the now defunct Foster Healing Center


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