United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a negative view of Oregon’s legal cannabis market, but a recent sting operation conducted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission revealed positive news about central Oregon cannabis retailers that Sessions should take into consideration.
On Dec. 20, 2017, the OLCC announced that it had conducted a minor-decoy operation at 20 central Oregon cannabis retailers in Bend and La Pine on Dec. 19 to see if the retailers would let minors enter their stores to purchase cannabis and all 20 retailers denied the minors.
“That our licensed retailers in central Oregon scored 100 percent on refusal to sell marijuana to a minor is a sign that this segment of our regulated industry understands the importance of compliance,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of the OLCC, in a press release. “As we continue these checks I hope that this result will be reflected across the state.”
During the minor-decoy operation, minor volunteers attempted to enter 20 central Oregon cannabis retailers to purchase cannabis as a means for the OLCC to see if retailers were complying with the state law that prohibits them from selling cannabis to those under 21. All minor volunteers used their own legal identification cards which indicated they were underage.
Had any of the central Oregon cannabis retailers sold to a minor, a first offense would have warranted a 10-30 license suspension or a $1,650 fine; had they neglected to check ID before an attempted purchase of cannabis, they would have been hit with a seven-day license suspension or fine over $1,100.
According to Marks, “We’re working to make sure that all segments of our regulated market are living up to the requirements of their license, and the expectations Oregonians have that they will act responsibly and follow the law.”
Beyond this recent minor-decoy operation, Oregon has been taking other proactive steps to prevent and discourage minors from using cannabis, including the implementation of a successful youth cannabis prevention campaign and the prohibition of cannabis strain names that could appeal to minors, such as Incredible Hulk and Frosted Flakes, among others.