Chris Hladick, Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, requested that Lindemuth offer an opinion on marijuana social clubs. Her legal opinion caps a lengthy standoff between the clubs’ owners, law enforcement and regulators.
Lindemuth is unequivocal in her opinion.
“If that place is not a licensed retail marijuana store, consuming marijuana there is unlawful,” she wrote. “Charging people a fee to consume marijuana at a physical venue, if done regularly and for financial benefit, is to operate a business. The venue itself would therefore be a ‘place of business’ where it is unlawful to consume
marijuana ,even if the venue’s proprietor expressly invites people to do so.”
Even if it were not acting “as a business,” she wrote, it is still public consumption, as a substantial amount of people have access to it.
Furthermore, Pot Luck’s distribution of marijuana samples qualifies the venue as a business, Lindemuth said, as they are taking money in exchange for providing them if the total amount exceeds one ounce, the statutory limit.
“If this person has ‘dominion or control’ of the marijuana provided as samples — even if he does not own or have physical possession of the marijuana — he is acting unlawfully if the total amount of marijuana is more than one ounce or if he receives payment for transferring that marijuana to patrons.”