Deputies: Dispensary sold pot-laced beer to teen

TACOMA, Wash. -- Pierce County detectives say they have uncovered a frightening first: pot-laced beer allegedly sold to a minor at a local dispensary.

Authorities say they confiscated cases of cannabis-enriched beer from the Hashford Compassion Club following an undercover operation Friday.

A tip received by the Liquor Control Board led investigators to stage the covert operation, which involved having a teen purchase three bottles of pot-enriched honey beer.

"That's a dangerous thing right there, because teens drink beer and, all of a sudden, (they are) drinking beer with THC already in it," said Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer. "It's a double whammy."

No medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state have liquor licenses.

A member of the Hashford Compassion Club said the place isn't a dispensary, but rather a nonprofit collective garden comprising of members. The group's president is a home brewer who brews everything from cider to pot-infused beer, members said.

Investigators said this is the first case involving pot-laced beer they've seen.

"We've seen everything else with the THC and the cannabis in medical marijuana stores, from lollipops to frostings, but nothing that already has an alcohol-based product where they've infused the THC into the alcohol," said Troyer.

The co-op members, who did not wish to be identified, said they thought their products were protected by dispensary regulations. Investigators seized their entire stash on Friday.

"We confiscate everything," said Troyer. "You don't get to open the store and if you get caught selling illegal items, we just take the illegal items and you get to stay in business -- that's not how it works. We'll shut you down."

An attorney who has been asked to represent the collective garden said he strongly advises against brewing beer with THC.