Multiple marijuana shops across Oregon sell to minors during com - KPTV - FOX 12

Multiple marijuana shops across Oregon sell to minors during compliance operation

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

More than a dozen marijuana retailers across Oregon failed a compliance check involving the sale of marijuana products to minors.   

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission conducted a decoy operation in December to see if marijuana licensees were complying with state laws and OLCC regulations with regard to minors.

In the Portland area, inspectors visited seven licensed marijuana shops and four failed a check for prohibiting sales to a minor volunteer.

Five of 23 shops tested in the Keizer-Salem area failed, according to the OLCC.

All five central Oregon shops that were tested passed the inspection, while the Eugene-Springfield area had an 84 percent compliance rate. In southern Oregon, four of 12 marijuana licensees failed the inspection.

“These overall results are unacceptable,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the OLCC. “One of the basic tenets of Measure 91 is the protection of children by discouraging their use of marijuana. Oregonians who voted for legalizing recreational marijuana implicitly told the cannabis industry to abide by public safety laws. Clearly they’re not, and we need to continue this type of enforcement activity."

During the operation, an underage volunteer attempts to enter a licensed marijuana retailer and purchase marijuana to see if workers are checking identifications correctly and refusing entry to anyone under 21 years old.

OLCC inspectors supervise the minors, who carry their own legal ID that identifies them as under 21 years old. They do not disguise their age or lie to encourage the sale of marijuana.

The framework for regulating recreational marijuana was established in Measure 91, which was approved by voters in 2014, using the OLCC alcohol regulatory structure. The penalties for violations were established based on the criteria used for penalizing alcohol licensees. 

Sale of marijuana products to anyone under the age of 21 is a violation that for a first offense could result in a license suspension of 10 to 30 days, or a fine of $1650, depending on whether or not the sale was intentional. 

Failure by a marijuana licensee, or its employees, to check a customer’s identification before the attempted purchase of a marijuana product is a violation that could result in a seven-day license suspension or a fine more than $1100. 

Every licensed retailer receives a minimum of one OLCC compliance check per year.

For the full results of December’s decoy operation, go to Oregon.gov/olcc.

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