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WIRE: Oregon LCC partners with law enforcement to target illegal cannabis operations

Medford, OR —  The Oregon Liquor Control Commission today met with law enforcement officials, local district attorneys and US attorney’s office officials to announce policy changes and partnership efforts.  Director Steven Marks informed the group today of OLCC’s licensing and enforcement efforts and announced policy changes to further constrict the diversion of marijuana into the illegal market.

In order to ensure that marijuana produced during the 2017 outdoor growing season isn’t diverted to the illegal market the OLCC is making an exception to rules defining mature plants for outdoor producers.  The exception will apply to applicants that submitted valid applications to the OLCC before June 23, 2017.  “This step is one of the remedies we’re putting into place in order to ensure the success of the regulated marijuana market, and to further reduce the ability of product to reach the illegal market,” said Steven Marks, OLCC Executive Director.

Oregon State Police will have a marijuana team co-locate with the OLCC Medford regional office.  There will also be a team assigned out of the OSP office in Salem or Portland.

“OSP has the expertise and resources to figure out which law enforcement agencies need to be involved, whether it’s a city police department or multi-agency task force,” said Marks.  “Together we can address that gray area, illegal grows and processing sites that OLCC doesn’t have the ability to regulate and bring forward for prosecution.”

Since January 1, 2017 the OLCC has received almost 1,000 new recreational marijuana applications and about 400 of those were for outdoor or mixed production licenses.  In addition to processing these new applications OLCC staff have been handling license renewals and license changes.

As the 2017 fall harvest approaches the OLCC is trying to get as many people licensed and into the regulated system.  At the same time Oregon’s legalized marijuana industry has been supportive of compliance and enforcement activity.

“As the second outdoor harvest under the regulated system approaches the OLCC expects better reporting and compliance,” said Marks.  “Licensees have been using the Cannabis Tracking System for a year and our staff is in a better position to manage and control the regulated system.”

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