Licensed Oregon marijuana business hit with federal conspiracy charges

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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