While Nebraska has been known as a prohibition-minded state, one Oregon marijuana processor recently found that out the hard way and now has to face the consequences in both Nebraska and Oregon.
On Nov. 8, 2017, deputies with Nebraska’s Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office arrested Richard Wilkinson during a traffic stop in downtown Lincoln after smelling marijuana emanating from Wilkinson’s U-haul van and discovering 110 pounds of marijuana, 25 pounds of shatter, vials of hash oil and 3,500 marijuana seeds, as reported by the Lincoln Journal Star.
The deputies originally pulled over Wilkinson and the driver of another car for following too closely together. That other driver, John Carlson of Rhode Island, was also arrested and charged with aiding and abetting Wilkinson’s possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Prior to the arrest, Wilkinson had been licensed as an Oregon marijuana processor for Rich Extracts, his extraction business based in the Portland suburb of Clackamas.
Wilkinson’s arrest prompted the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to suspend his processor license on Nov. 15; however, according to the OLCC, the commission had been investigating Wilkinson for possible license violations prior to his arrest in Nebraska.
Considering Wilkinson’s license suspension was based upon three category one license violations, the state’s most serious violation category, and United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been an outspoken critic of Oregon’s legal marijuana policies, the OLCC has issued a warning to licensed Oregon marijuana businesses.
“We want to make it clear to our licensees that if you operate ‘out of bounds’ we are going to act with certainty,” said Steve Marks, executive director of the OLCC, in a press release. “The vast majority of our licensees support our efforts to root out shady operators, and certainly it’s what Oregonians expect of us.”
With the OLCC’s jurisdiction limited to administrative violations of state marijuana rules, the commission hands off suspected criminal activity to law enforcement.
“Our agency is committed to using our own resources and working with all levels of law enforcement to pursue all illegal market activity,” Marks added.