A licensed cannabis retailer in Oregon is the target of federal conspiracy charges alleging the business used an illegal credit card scheme to bankroll its operations.
It is the first high-profile case to arise from Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams’ recent focus on illegal diversion of Oregon-grown marijuana. Williams has voiced concerns related to the state’s massive marijuana overproduction.
In the case, nine people were charged with participating in a black-market operation that shipped Oregon-grown cannabis out of the state.
Two of the nine charged with fraudulent activity owned the Corvallis Cannabis Club, a retail cannabis company in Corvallis that was raided in the investigation.
Here are the basics of the situation:
- The case arose when the FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service detected credit card fraud in Corvallis in 2016. Court documents show more than $1 million in losses to Oregon banks, The Oregonian reported.
- That money allegedly paid the rent for the Corvallis Cannabis Club and financed illegal grows in Corvallis and a nearby city.
- Prosecutors allege cannabis was packaged and vacuum-sealed at the Corvallis Cannabis Club, then put in suitcases or in the mail, according to The Associated Press.
- The AP also reported the operation is linked to illegal cannabis sales in Illinois. Defendants allegedly drove 60 pounds of cannabis to Chicago and sold it on the black market.
– Associated Press and Marijuana Business Daily