Medical marijuana isn’t allowed at Central Oregon Community College, but a local MMJ facility recently advertised on campus offering student discounts.
The Good Leaf, originally known as Green Leaf Organic Collective, has been targeting campus for a number of weeks, as their facility recently opened Sat. April 12.
The facility is treading a fine line. While medical marijuana advertising may not be illegal on-campus, the way it’s advertised must align to campus policies that weren’t followed.
The Good Leaf is one of few Oregon medical marijuana facilities giving a discount to college students. The non-profit is trying to spread the word for the right reasons, according to owner Christina Arredondo.
“I remember when I was in college,” Arredondo said. “Money is tight, and you have a lot of pressure on you, and a lot of people nowadays that are really needing the medication more than they used to.”
So far, the facility has only accepted card-holding customers for products with THC content, and has been following state procedures and rules, according to Arredondo. As of April 18, the collective was not listed under the Bend dispensaries approved to open by the Oregon Health Authority, but the non-profit has been careful in its application process, according to Arredondo.
Whether or not the organization is fully approved by OHA, they will face problems with COCC. Recently, the Good Leaf has been spreading around cards with the location, discounts and other information of the facility, under its previous name Green Leaf Organic Collective.
“We didn’t have a lot of money to market,” Arredondo said. “We made flyers and we went out there [to COCC] … [we were] telling students to tell their friends.”
The advertising “is against” policies, according to Cady-Mae Hund, a dispatcher and office specialist for Campus Public Safety. And it may prompt a citation, according to Jim Bennett, the Campus Public Safety coordinator.
“We do have a college district policy that you cannot put flyers on vehicles or distribute them on campus,” Bennett said.
According to campus policies, distribution of literature on campus has to be approved by the director of Student Life and receive an approval stamp. The Good Leaf did not have stamps for their flyers.
The campus also aligns with federal laws, meaning that medical marijuana is prohibited on-campus. However, that may not pose an issue for the dispensary, according to Bennett.
“What it sounds like is [the Good Leaf] is offering for sale something they could be legally authorized to sell, again off campus,” Bennett said. “There is lawful authority for the use of medicinal.”
The Good Leaf is running a medical marijuana facility at an uncertain time, where what is allowed at the state level is not approved federally. However, the business isn’t letting the uncertain future of the federal status of medical marijuana damper their business opportunities.
“They are bound by the state to follow certain laws and statutes in their operations,” Bennett said. “As long as they are performing in a lawful manner, and their clients are people who can lawfully purchase from them, then it’s not an issue.”
Junnelle Hogen | The Broadside