Family of Pot-Loving Murder Suspect Robert Durst Eyes Entry Into Medical Marijuana Biz

By McCarton Ackerman 06/16/15

The Durst family is looking to expand beyond its real estate empire while Robert is being held in a Louisiana prison.

Robert Durst
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Notorious pot-loving criminal Robert Durst may have been shunned by his family, but his love of marijuana could soon be a family legacy as they vie for a piece of the medical marijuana market.

The Durst family, which has already created an empire in the real estate industry, is now teaming up with the Greater New York Hospital Association in the hopes that it can grow and sell pot to medically qualified customers. While the hospital would handle the medical details, Durst’s estranged brother, Douglas, would be responsible for all elements of manufacturing, promotion, and distribution.

“We know what our expertise is,” said GNYHA Ventures president Lee Perlman. “We needed to find a partner that had the infrastructure and the capital to make this very special.”

They’ll be competing with the North Shore LIJ medical system, in addition to other interested entities, for the winning bids to be announced next month. It was initially believed that the Durst family had a built-in growing location since they own and operate McEnroe Organic Farm in Dutchess County, but company spokeman Jordan Barowitz said they won’t grow pot there even with a winning bid.

Durst, 72, was arrested last March after FBI agents found a revolver and quarter-pound of marijuana in his hotel room following his chilling participation in HBO's six-part miniseries, The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. Evidence presented in the documentary led to his arrest.

Currently, Durst is being held in a prison mental-health unit outside of New Orleans, but could be extradited to California to face a first-degree murder charge for the death of friend Susan Berman. If convicted, he could receive the death penalty. He has already pleaded not guilty to a federal weapons charge.

Durst was previously arrested in October 2001 in Texas and went to trial two years later for the murder of his elderly neighbor, Morris Black. Robert testified during the trial that he kept five pounds of marijuana in the freezer in his home. Despite admitting that he butchered Black’s body with a bow saw and dumped the body into Galveston Bay, he was acquitted of the murder charge in November 2003.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.