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New medical marijuana clinic opens in downtown Prineville

The business seeks to serve people in the medical community, while providing safe access

by: RAMONA MCCALLISTER/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Ryan Cole and Robert Mills, co-partners for 5C (Crook County Compassion Clinic/Club), stand in front of their business on North Main Street, in Prineville.

A new business called 5C, the Crook County Compassion Clinic/Club, has quietly set up what is to many a controversial business on North Main Street, serving patients who have a medical marijuana card.
   “We just want to provide the safe access without stirring up a whole lot of trouble,” said co-owner Ryan Cole.
    He quickly added that they also don’t have anything to hide, even though they prefer to be low-key. They gladly open their doors to law enforcement, said Cole, and have done so many times already.
   “We are only trying to work with people in the medical community,” said Cole.
   In order for the Crook County Compassion Clinic/Club to get established, they had to abide by several state laws and licenses, but like any business in Prineville, they did not have to have a business license.
   “Believe it or not, the City itself doesn’t have a business license (requirement),” remarked Cole.
   “We have our growers’ licenses, our patient license, our caregiver’s licenses, and the right to do the donations — because of all those licenses, the way the law is written up.”
   Prineville Police Department Chief Eric Bush said that 5C has to follow state law, but confirmed that from a City standpoint, they don’t have to have a business license.
   He added that they don’t have any recourse on a business unless they are breaking the law, operating as a second-hand store, serving alcohol, or if it is a transient vendor.
   City of Prineville Manager Steve Forrester said that the City Council and local officials are getting ready to revisit the city business plan for businesses coming into Prineville.
   Although Cole and his partner, Robert Mills, have set up their location on Main Street, Cole said that they have actually been in business in Prineville for two years.
   5C refers patients to a facility in Bend called THCF, which provides a medical marijuana doctor to sign for a patient’s medical card. Before they can get a card, the patient must see their regular medical physician four to five times for their disease. If they are referred to the doctor at THCF, the two physicians confer and decide if they will grant a medical card.
   Cole said that there are at least 137 medical marijuana doctors in Oregon.
   He went on to say that many patients have problems finding growers for medical marijuana. According to Oregon law, medical marijuana patients who have a registered medical card are permitted up to 24 ounces, and 6 mature plants/18 immature seedlings.
    “The law states that growers are allowed to be reimbursed for everything except for their time and labor,” said Cole.
   He also emphasized that he is against the measure that would legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21.
   “I am not for it at all, whatsoever. I think that marijuana should be used medicinally, and only medicinally, and not be in children’s hands and not to be in people’s hands without medical cards,” emphasized Cole. “I think it’s a bad idea. That’s my standpoint on it.”