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Aloha pot lounge owner pleads guilty to unlawful distribution

by: Submitted photo Kathleen Cambron

In the first such case to be prosecuted in Oregon, the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Aloha pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to charges related to unlawful distribution of marijuana.

Kathleen 'Kat' O'Shea Cambron, 44, co-owner of the Wake 'n' Bake Cannabis Lounge, 18918 S.W. Shaw Street, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Washington County Circuit Court.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of felony distribution of marijuana and was sentenced to three years of probation.

The Westside Interagency Narcotics Team served warrants at the Wake 'n' Bake on June 15, along with residences associated with the store and its owners, after detectives learned the business was allegedly selling pot to customers in violation of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.

Warrants were served at the store, a Beaverton apartment identified as a 'corporate apartment' for the business in the 17000 block of Northwest Cornell Road, an Aloha residence in the 21000 block of Southwest Jay Street and a Hillsboro residence in the 4500 block of Southeast Teakwood Street.

No arrests were made at the time.

It's unclear whether Cambron's business partner, Andrew Gwin, was among those who received warrants.

The Oregon U.S. Attorney's Office, the Washington County District Attorney's Office and Oregon's district attorneys issued a letter earlier in June stating the sale of marijuana was a violation of both state and federal law and 'would not be tolerated,' as a warning to dispensaries that have opened across the Portland metropolitan area.

The Wake 'n' Bake opened in November 2010 and continued to operate as the warrants were pending.

Celia Howes, Cambron's attorney, said the shop is now 'permanently closed as a marijuana lounge - unless the law changes.'

Cambron started the business based on her experience finding it 'difficult to safely acquire medical marijuana for personal use,' Howes said.

Cambron consulted with two other attorneys before she opened the business, Howes added, and believed she was operating Wake 'n' Bake legally.

'The basis of the probationary sentence, in my view, is that this was a good faith attempt to open a legal dispensary,' Howes said. 'It just fell short of the mark.'