Portland Dispensary Becomes First To Undergo Fraud Investigation In Oregon Marijuana Industry Since Legalization

A Portland pot dispensary has earned the distinction of becoming the first marijuana business to become part of a fraud investigation since Oregon voted for legalization. Cannacea has closed down shop amid the fraud scandal after it was learned that Oregon never issued a medical dispensary license to the business in the first place.

Tisha Siler, the founder of Cannacea, brought her medical marijuana-based business to Oregon in 2014 after she received what she thought was a letter welcoming her to open up shop in Oregon. Medical marijuana dispensary licenses can be hard to acquire, and Siler, a grower from California, believed she was one of the few to make the cut.

It turns out that Siler went about getting licensed in Oregon all wrong, and her misstep may really cost the business in a big way. The Oregonian reported on Saturday that the popular Portland pot dispensary has become part of the first fraud investigation for the Oregon marijuana industry.

When she was looking to break into the Oregon medical marijuana market, Tisha Siler hired Green Rush Consulting to help her draft the necessary paperwork to get business started in another state. After paying $25,000 to the firm, Siler received an official-looking letter that said she had been awarded seven dispensary licenses for Siler and her investors, with which she opened up shop and started doing business as a medical marijuana dispensary.

In June of last year, the Department of Health learned of Tisha Siler’s letter and began to investigate the Cannacea dispensary just a few months later. That’s when it was learned that the letter was fake and that the consulting company that was assisting Siler with licensing may have some real explaining to do.

After investigating Green Rush Consulting, it was learned that Tisha Siler’s contact with the company had prior felony convictions for financial schemes. To make matters worse, New Cannabis Ventures reported that Siler has accused Green Rush Consulting of creating marketing materials with false information on them in addition to the award letter that Siler received. So far, there is no question that the letter Siler received was fake, but it is still unknown who wrote it.

There is a current investigation into Green Rush Consulting and the role that they played with Tisha Siler and Cannacea. The bigger problem is that Siler has some pretty upset investors now that the Portland pot dispensary has been shut down. One of them, a Canadian businessman, invested $168,000 into Cannacea after learning that Siler had been awarded dispensary licenses in Oregon, and he’s not the only one.

Tisha Siler says that she’s innocent in all of this and is also a victim of Green Rush Consulting. In a written statement to investigators regarding the current fraud investigation into her Portland pot dispensary and the shady activities leading up to its inception, Siler wrote, “There are people getting into the cannabis industry who were essentially run out of their last business and trying to reinvent themselves as cannabis industry specialists.”

As a result of this first Oregon marijuana industry fraud investigation, a spokesperson for Oregon’s Office of Consumer and Business Services gave those who are interested in the marijuana industry a bit of advice.

Any time there is a hot new industry, there is always room for bad actors to take advantage of the excitement around it,” Jake Sunderland said. “The key thing is to be aware of things that sound too good to be true.”

[Image via Shutterstock]