Port Townsend marijuana clinic burglarized; owner plans to reopen Friday

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND –– Gracen Hook plans to reopen his Alternative Clinic medical marijuana dispensary Friday after a five-day closure that followed an apparent burglary in which thousands of dollars' worth of marijuana and other marijuana-infused products were taken from the shop.

Police were still investigating the Sunday break-in, said Officer Luke Bogues, Port Townsend Police Department spokesman.

Hook, who was at a marijuana convention in Las Vegas at the time, said his employees reported the break-in to him Monday.

The back-door jamb of the dispensary at 1433 E. Sims Way appeared to have been torn apart with a crowbar, and the dispensary's entire stock of marijuana, marijuana-infused candies, distilled tinctures and 20 tubes of an oil extracted from marijuana designed for use by cancer patients was gone.

“They literally stole the cure right out of the hands of cancer patients,” Hook said.

His stock was not insured.

He said he expected to be able to restock the dispensary in time to open Friday.

The store's security cameras were pulled off the ceiling, and the footage was missing, he said.

Hook was profiled in a Peninsula Daily News report that appeared the morning of the burglary about how banking regulations have made the legal marijuana industry a cash-only business.

“I don't know if somebody read that and thought I was rolling in cash or something,” Hook said.

“If they did, that was a misconception.”

Bogues said the Police Department will work with Hook to “beef up” his security system.

Although his shop was compliant with state laws regarding security at marijuana dispensaries, Hook said he will be investing in a more intensive system.

“I guess I just need to go beyond the regulators,” he said.

________

Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladaily
news.com.

Last modified: January 29. 2014 7:18PM
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