Rochester man arrested on pot-sales charges

A Rochester man arrested Wednesday night for his alleged connection to a clandestine medical marijuana dispensary in Centralia faces two counts of delivery of marijuana, one count of possession with intent to deliver marijuana, and one count of maintaining a location for the use of controlled substances.

Daniel J. Mack, 39, was released from custody on a $5,000 unsecured bond after appearing Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court. He will be arraigned in two weeks.

Mack was detained after police raided Hub City Natural Medicine. Officers reported seizing more than 40 grams of dried marijuana in jars and various baked goods and edible items infused with THC, marijuana’s active ingredient.

The store, in downtown Centralia, opened about a month ago and touted itself as a place where people could educate themselves and purchase “natural medicine,” according to its business application.

Police grew suspicious when an informant said marijuana could be bought there.

On April 5, police arranged to have an informant buy marijuana at Hub City with a false medical marijuana card. According to court papers, Hub City made no attempt to verify the card’s authenticity.

On April 18, the informant allegedly bought $400 worth of marijuana from Mack, also known as “DJ,” at the store.

Wednesday evening, police served a search warrant, contacting Mack and three customers in the store who had medical marijuana cards, court papers say.

Mack, a medical marijuana card holder, told police he had been “trading” marijuana for money with at least 100 people, court papers say.

Hub City’s business license says its owner is Lori Spangler. Last week, Spangler told The Chronicle that her business “is a collective of patients helping patients.”

Authorized medical marijuana users can legally hold as much as 24 ounces of medical marijuana and grow up to 15 plants at a time. State law allows a “provider” to grow or provide marijuana to card holders who are too ill to do so for themselves.

At the courthouse Thursday, Mack’s mother, Jackie Tonning, said her son is a single parent of four who has struggled for more than a year to find full-time construction work and began working at Hub City to aid ill people in need of medical marijuana.

“He doesn’t sell drugs, he doesn’t deal; he introduces people to people,” the Rochester woman said
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