Black market drug dealers don’t check customers for IDs. But legal, regulated recreational marijuana retailers in Oregon do.
In a first-of-its-kind sting operation conducted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, cannabis retail shops passed the test with flying colors. On December 19, OLCC marijuana inspectors visited 20 marijuana retailers in central Oregon, and all of the 20 businesses visited in Bend and La Pine passed a check for prohibiting sales to a minor volunteer.
“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. “As we continue these checks I hope that these results will be reflected across the state.”
Retailers caught selling cannabis products to customers under the legal age of 21 could be slapped with a 30-day suspension of their license or a fine of $1,650. Failure to ask for a photo identification could result in a seven-day license suspension or a$1,100 fine.
The OLCC tests licensed marijuana businesses throughout the year, with each licensed retailer receiving a minimum of one visit per year. The OLCC offers a free training course on how to check IDs and identify false identification.
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“This is part of our stepped-up compliance and enforcement activity,” said 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.”
For years, anti-marijuana groups have warned that legalizing cannabis sales would result in an increase of minors buying the herb. But regulation, as this sting operation indicates, prevents sales to teens. Regulation, in this case, works.