Medical marijuana cafe set to open this month in Gladstone

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Jun 21, 2007
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Two Oregon men plan to open Clackamas County's first medical marijuana cafe this month on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard, catering to the county's nearly 3,000 licensed users. Owners Mario Mamone, 62, and Tim Welsh, 45, said they designed the 1,200-square-foot Maritime Cafe to look like an Amsterdam cafe, with lounge areas and booths and soft music playing in the background.

Mamone said they chose Gladstone in hopes of attracting people from Clackamas County suburbs who may not otherwise have a place to gather. "I'm aware of the cafes within the city of Portland, but I really felt it was important to get into an area that was underserved," he said.

As of April, 39,774 state residents were enrolled in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, with 11,000 applications pending. Clackamas County has 2,835 cardholders.

The Maritime Cafe will operate as a non-profit with customers paying a suggested donation of $10 a month and $10 per ounce of marijuana, most of which will be donated. Welsh said he hopes those who are willing to pay more will subsidize those who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford to use the cafe.

"This is really about having quality medication available for people who need it," Welsh said. "People need to have access to it and not have to put their lives in danger looking on the black market."

Maritime will have five part-time employees, all with medical and physical conditions that qualify them as cardholders.

Mamone said he doesn't plan to take a salary

"Many people who use medical marijuana have very serious medical conditions," Mamone said. "I want employees to be able to sit and chat with our customers and find out what we can modify to suit their needs."

The city of Gladstone reported no complaints about the new business going in. Because the area is zoned commercial and the owners are making no structural changes, no public hearings or land-use approval is required.

"It's basically just replacing one business with another. They have the license to medicate onsite, and the area is commercial," City Planner Clay Glasgow said.

Mamone said he worries more about the possibility of federal policies changing than he does community acceptance.

In 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that federal authorities would no longer prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries or users in the 16 states with legal programs. Oregon's Medical Marijuana Act and subsequent program, second in the nation to California, was approved in 1998.

Last week, after federal prosecutors in some states warned they might prosecute everyone from licensed growers to regulators, Holder announced his intention to clarify the Justice Department's position so those in the medical marijuana business will know where they stand.

"So long as we don't do anything illegal," Mamone said, "we should be OK."

Maritime Cafe

What: A medical marijuana dispensary and lounge
Where: 17415 McLoughlin Blvd.
Cost: Suggested monthly donation of $10; otherwise free for medical marijuana cardholders
Owners: Mario Mamone and Tim Welsh
Employees: Five, part time
Opening date: This month, date to be determined

Finally a place close to me!! Now I don't have to go into Portland, I'm thrilled this place is coming. I'm in way to much pain all the time and it's extremely hard for me to even get around. I usually don't hang out at these "cafe" places but now that it is close by, I might be able to. I just hope their aren't going to be a lot of creepy weird people always hanging around.
I thought Oregon was going to start closing down the dispensaries?
Did I read that right? 10 Dollars for an ounce?
LOL--missed where it said an ounce in the body of the post. Takes me back to the late 60s. But, yes, it must be a typo.

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