Cannabis retailers in Oregon should be on high alert, as inspectors from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission’s (OLCC) Marijuana Program have begun to ramp up the number of Minor Decoy Operations (MDOs) being conducted across the state. As part of these operations, the OLCC employs minor decoys between the ages of 16-18 who, under the supervision of the OLCC and in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, attempt to purchase cannabis from licensed retailers. If the sale is made, both the clerk and the licensee can face fines and penalties for selling to a minor.
MDO activity was previously paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the OLCC resumed operations in May 2022 and has been working to expand its compliance programs ever since. Our team has been in contact with OLCC inspectors, who have informed us of dozens of MDOs currently set to be conducted in the near future.
A recent MDO conducted in Medford by the OLCC’s Marijuana Program resulted in a 67% compliance rate, which is substantially lower than the 90% compliance rate the OLCC aims for. In an effort to increase compliance, the OLCC plans to continue to escalate the number of MDOs being conducted, and OLCC commissioners are also considering increasing the fines and penalties for non-compliance.
Licensees can utilize a number of different resources available on the OLCC website to help increase their likelihood of compliance. The OLCC offers free identification checking classes to alcohol and marijuana retailers, which can be scheduled by following the instructions provided here. An ID Checking Tip List is also available on the OLCC website to help assist licensees in ensuring proper ID checking practices.
Questions? Please contact Ferdinand Ruplin or any of the other attorneys in Tonkon Torp’s Cannabis Industry Group. This update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice.