Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Thu, January 23 2014 at 6:04 PM, Updated: Tue, January 28 2014 at 10:31 AM
Medford, Ore. - In the fall of 2013 the City of Medford made moves to revoke the business license for MaryJane's Attic and MaryJane's Basement.
The owner of the business, Marlene Nuckols said the city denied her appeal. Now the next step will be appealing to the Medford City Council.
Her store, located in the Winco shopping plaza, sells made-in-America products. Many of her items are made locally in the Rogue Valley. In addition, her store also provides cannabis to medical marijuana cardholders.
"We are taking care of these people and helping them, giving them a place to come get their medicine, feel safe," said Nuckols.
"It's just sad because I see these patients and I think if I'm not here, where are they going to go," she continued.
According to Nuckols, she serves over 1200 patients, 65% of them over the age of 55.
Vietnam War veteran Randy Trenbeath is one of the many people who frequently stop in.
"I come here because it's the closest dispensary to my home," he began.
"I have rheumatoid arthritis and on cold days like today, my hands lock up ... I've been using medical marijuana now for four years ... It helps me immensely," continued Trenbeath.
However, the city attorney said if a business is operating as a dispensary, it's a violation of current state and federal law.
"We don't feel that we're doing anything unlawful here," said Nuckols.
The city's finance director can't speak about any specific business but she says advancing this far in the appeals process is something she hasn't seen in her 10 years of working for the city.
"That tells me the business is either becoming in compliance with the city code or they close their business," said Alison Chan, City of Medford Finance Director.
Trenbeath said he's frustrated with the city of Medford's actions. He doesn't know why the city would revoke Nuckol's business license, since medical marijuana has been legalized and dispensaries will soon be legal in March.
"It seems that Medford has gone back on that and is going against what the citizens are asking for and I think that's outrageous," said Trenbeath.
If Nuckol's business is shut down, he said he would instead give his business to dispensaries that may potentially pop up in Ashland.
However, Nuckols said she's not giving up on her patients.
"They're more like family than just patients. You get to know them, you get to care about them. And it'd be hard to lose," she said.
In March it will be legal to open a dispensary in Oregon.
The appeal in front of the city council is expected to take place sometime in the next three to four weeks. The meeting will be open to the public.
In the meantime, MaryJane's Attic and MaryJane's Basement is still open for business. Nuckols encouraged city council members, the Mayor and other city officials to visit her business for themselves.
Stay with NBC 5 News for updates on this developing story.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.