Membership fees could threaten Oregon pot clubs

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Owners of Oregon cannabis clubs say they’re worried that police will use their practice of charging membership fees to bring them down.

Many clubs for holders of medical marijuana cards charge membership fees to pay for overhead expenses.

Some law enforcement officials say those fees are illegal, citing Oregon law that forbids charging for medical marijuana beyond the expense of growing.

Last week the owner of a cannabis club in Aloha pleaded guilty to distribution of marijuana after an undercover operation found the club had put marijuana prices on a whiteboard. Prosecutors in the case also said it was illegal for the club to charge membership fees, and other clubs now worry they could get busted for doing that.