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OLCC increases penalties for underage sales of marijuana

The OLCC is cracking down on marijuana retailers that sell to minors.

Posted: Jan. 26, 2018 11:23 AM
Updated: Jan. 26, 2018 5:31 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. – A rule increasing penalties for marijuana retailers that sell marijuana to minors takes effect Friday.

The new rule allows a marijuana worker’s permit to be revoked if the person intentionally sells marijuana to a minor.

It increases the penalty for the unintentional sale of marijuana to a minor to a 30-day license suspension or a $4,950 fine. Previously the penalty was a 10-day license suspension or a $1,650 fine.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission re-evaluated penalties after reviewing compliance from recent sting operations. For example, December visits to the Eugene-Springfield area resulted in sales to minors at three stores. Marijuana was also sold to minors by licensed marijuana retailers elsewhere in the state.

“There’s no margin for error on making sure that marijuana doesn’t get in the hands of minors - period,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC commission chair. “The integrity of Oregon's regulated system depends on industry compliance across the board.”

The new rule is temporary, and the OLCC will review compliance during the six months the new penalties are in place. At the end of that time, the OLCC will consider whether to make the rule permanent.

“It's our core mission at the OLCC to prevent the sale of marijuana to minors,” said Steve Marks, executive director. “The early results are unacceptable and we'll keep holding retailers and their employees accountable until they get it right.”

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