The Oregon Health Authority has ordered nine unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries, six of them in Portland, to shut down since the state launched its dispensary program in March.
The health authority last week released to The Oregonian copies of the letters that went out to the establishments. Agency officials said they’ve collected the first civil penalty from a dispensary in violation of state rules.
State officials have said repeatedly that they would take steps to shutter unlicensed establishments. In some cases, the dispensary operators had already been told they wouldn’t be licensed because they were within 1,000 feet of a registered dispensary or a school. In others, they did not apply for a license. In all cases, the establishments continued to operate without approval.
Shannon O’Fallon, a senior assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice, wrote most of the letters, telling the owners in each case “You must stop operating as a dispensary immediately.”
The following establishments received the letters:
Nature’s Choice Alternative Medicine, 229 Marine Drive, Astoria. The state redacted the name of the operator, a Clatskanie resident, and the location of the establishment. In his letter dated Aug. 25, Tom Burns, who oversees the dispensary program, said the establishment’s application was pending and that the establishment is operating illegally. The applicant’s name was redacted because the individual has reapplied for the registry. Under state law, the name of the person registering a medical marijuana facility is not subject to public disclosure.
Tok, 8001 S.E. 72nd Avenue, Portland. The state sent a letter dated Aug. 26 to the registered agent, Daniel Pounds, saying inspectors visited on Aug. 14 and determined the establishment was operating without a license.
Marijuana Shop, 1316 S.E. 7th Ave., Portland. In her Aug. 11 letter, O’Fallon said the state had previously informed the applicant that the dispensary would not be approved because the proposed location was within 1,000 feet of a registered dispensary. This case is under appeal; the state did not release the name of the applicant, citing the appeal.
Oregon Grown Medical in Veneta. In a letter dated June 19, O’Fallon told applicant Mark Shequin, of Veneta, that his application was incomplete and the dispensary must shut down immediately.
Veterans Alternative Resource Center, 9103 S.E. Barbur Boulevard, Portland. In a letter dated May 13, O’Fallon told operator Kimberlee Spaunhorst, of Lake Oswego, that the state already informed her of its plans to deny her application because the proposed establishment was located within 1,000 feet of a registered dispensary.
Nectar Medicinal Herbs, 1325 N.W. 13th Ave., Portland. In a letter dated April 21, O’Fallon told the operator Jeremy Pratt, of Portland, that the state planned to deny the application because the establishment was within 1,000 feet of a school.
Grateful Meds, 8028 S.E. Powell Boulevard, No. 106, Portland. Applicant Ethan Felcher, of Central Point, was told on May 23 that the state intended to deny the application because the proposed establishment was located within 1,000 feet of a registered dispensary. In a letter dated June 6, O’Fallon ordered Felcher to close Grateful Meds.
Coos County Co-Op, 3682 Tremont Ave., Suite A, North Bend. In an Aug. 28 letter to co-op owner Robert Metcalfe, O’Fallon said state inspectors visited on Aug. 22 and determined the establishment was operating without being registered with the state.
Rose City Wellness, 3821 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Portland. Operator Aaron Arel, of Portland, was told in to shut down because the facility was unlicensed. The letter from the state is dated June 6.
— Noelle Crombie
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