Mt. Hood, Oregon

Daniel Eynis

Oregon Inspectors: One-Quarter of Growers Not Compliant

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) inspected more than half of the state’s outdoor grow operations this season and found 27 percent to have regulatory compliance shortcomings, according to a Canna Law Blog report.

Inspectors looked at grows across the state during the fall growing season in “Operation Good Harvest.” They inspected 354 of Oregon’s 628 licensed operators — of those 354 licensees, 27 percent had “deficiencies,” or issues with compliance. In total, inspectors found 41 violations that were serious enough to give cause for the state to revoke a licensee’s business license, pending reviews.

The OLCC reported a wide variety of violations, though the majority were issues with cameras and security surveillance equipment. Other issues included:

  • Entries in the Cannabis Tracking System (METRC) not matching plants or product
  • Cannabis not tagged and entered into the Cannabis Tracking System
  • Failure to provide the OLCC with harvest information
  • Using unapproved scales to weigh product
  • Making unapproved alterations to licensed grow area

The state executed Operation Good Harvest as a part of a program aimed at reducing diversion of legal cannabis into the illicit market.

“The inspections reflect our agency’s effort to prevent diversion from Oregon’s legal cannabis market, and we’ll continue compliance activity across all license categories to maintain the well-regulated market that Oregonians expect.” — OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks, in the report

Overproduction is considered a big part of the problem when it comes to Oregon’s cannabis diversion, in part because it keeps prices too low to fully cover the costs of licensed grows. To help the industry survive this wave of bad business tidings, the OLCC has promised to pause the approval of new cannabis licenses — this is expected to help address falling prices.

The OLCC notified growers of upcoming compliance checks in June. The agency has tightened up enforcement over the last year after the U.S. District Attorney for Oregon Billy J. Williams called Oregon‘s cannabis program “out of control.”

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