Marijuana raid suspects released Two women are to appear in court at a later date, a rally held outside the jail protests the police action

Two women spent just a few hours behind bars after local authorities arrested them Thursday while raiding a Eugene medical marijuana resource center.

Chelsea Nicole Hopkins, 25, and Jill Marie Tanner, 32, were released from the Lane County Jail on Thursday night without being required to post bail.

The pair face felony charges of marijuana delivery in connection with their work at The Greener Side at 1601 Oak St.

State pretrial services officials ordered Tanner’s release, while Hopkins was freed from jail for “capacity based” reasons, according to jail records.

Hopkins and Tanner are expected to appear in Lane County Circuit Court at a later date. Their attorney, Brian Michaels of Eugene, said police “jumped the gun” in busting The Greener Side. He said the state-registered nonprofit business legally provided marijuana to medical marijuana patients.

On Friday, the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws rallied outside the jail to protest raids carried out Thursday at The Greener Side and at four medical marijuana outlets in Southern Oregon.

A similar gathering was held in Medford.

Detectives with Lane County’s Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team served search warrants at The Greener Side and at a home off River Road in Eugene at approximately the same time that their counterparts in Jackson County did the same at four Jackson County businesses that allegedly sold marijuana from storefronts.

Authorities said they suspect some of the people involved with the Jackson County shops are affiliated with The Greener Side, which is believed to be operated by Hopkins and her husband, Joseph.

The couple previously ran a medical marijuana resource center in Ashland. Chelsea Hopkins, meanwhile, has served as an outreach committee member for the state’s Advisory Committee on Medical Marijuana.

Police allege that she and Tanner illegally sold marijuana from The Greener Side.

The business’s website states that it operates “in strict accordance to all local and state laws” and provides a range of services — including “safe access to quality medicine” — to state-approved medical marijuana patients who apply for membership to the center.

“It’s a great place that’s really out to help people,” said Dan Koozer, director of the local NORML chapter.

While serving search warrants at the business and the home off River Road, detectives on Thursday confiscated several pounds of processed marijuana, packaged pot and hashish, and food products believed to contain marijuana derivatives.

Also seized were business records and “evidence of money laundering,” officials said in a news release.

The Greener Side is the second Eugene-based medical marijuana club to be shut down by authorities in recent months. Similar raids have happened elsewhere in Oregon, although a number of unregulated, medical marijuana outlets remain open elsewhere across the state.

While medical marijuana use is legal in Oregon, its sale is not. Oregon voters in 2010 rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized medical marijuana dispensaries.

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow a set number of retailers to operate in Oregon.

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