Eugeneans who don’t want their tax dollars used to investigate and raid medical marijuana facilitators have a lot to complain about in the latest Oregon raid.
The Lane County Interagency Narcotics Team, with the help of other agencies, raided Kannabosm Medicinal Cannabis Resource Center, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Permit-only club at 401 W 11th Ave., on Thursday, Aug. 30, and confiscated all marijuana, computers, files and cash on the premises. Kannabosm owner Curtis Shimmin and his nephew, Austin Mullins, were pulled over earlier that day, arrested and their vehicle impounded. Four other properties owned by or otherwise associated with Shimmin in Eugene and Douglas County were also raided.
A Lane County press release listed the confiscated property as “several pounds of processed bulk marijuana, numerous packages of marijuana and hashish packaged for sale, numerous packages of food and beverage products suspected of containing marijuana derivatives also packaged for sale, 105 growing marijuana plants from three of the locations weighing more than 400 pounds along with additional evidence of distribution and money laundering.”
“There were three legal gardens that were completely, totally legal, permits in place, plant numbers under the allowable,” Shimmin says. “None of the gardens belong to me. I allowed three people to grow their medicine on my properties. Those gardens were cut down. All the patients’ medicine at all the locations was seized.”
As EW went to press, Shimmin says neither he nor Mullins have been formally charged, but Shimmin says that he was arrested for possession, delivery, manufacturing, tampering with evidence and money laundering. Sgt. Carrie Carver of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office says the lack of charges could be due to a number of factors, including a lack of evidence, not enough prosecutors to continue the case or investigators waiting to gather more information before filing.
Patients who used Kannabosm to acquire marijuana will now do so on the street, Shimmin says, and instead of smoking locally grown marijuana, they’re more likely to smoke weed that cartels will profit from. “It’s going to impact my patients incredibly. There will be several hundred. We’ve had close to 2,000 patients come through the club since opening [in 2011],” he says. “It will force most of them back to the street to operate on the black market for their medicine. They have no other choice. That’s why we opened this facility, so people could have safe access to medicine.”
Shimmin says he’s taken pains to ensure that Kannabosm is compliant with Oregon’s medical marijuana statutes. “I consult and have on retainer attorneys that have gone through my model and have told me that it’s completely, 100 percent legal” according to Oregon law, he says. The actions of the narcotics team “are completely against the voters.”
The OMMP law states that growers can be reimbursed for the cost of growing marijuana, but they may not profit from it.
In addition to the cost of executing the five raids, Shimmin says officers were posted outside of the locations from the time he was arrested until the nighttime busts, and he says there was also a prior investigation. “It has to be tens of thousands of dollars,” he says of the total cost. “Obviously the investigation took a substantial amount of man-hours, time, energy, taxpayers’ money.”
Shimmin and other Kannabosm volunteers are starting a letter-writing campaign directed at local officials in an effort to reacquire the confiscated marijuana. Learn more at http://wkly.ws/1cm