An audit of Oregon’s top marijuana regulatory agency found that the state’s marijuana tracking system lacked proper safeguards, making it easier for cannabis businesses to hide violations such as illegal sales.
The findings come less than a week after Oregon’s top federal prosecutor said the state has a “formidable” problem with marijuana overproduction that winds up on the black market.
The Secretary of State’s office said in September it planned to audit the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).
The OLCC oversees the state’s marijuana industry, which was expected to generate $550 million-$580 million in medical and recreational cannabis sales last year, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017.
The audit pinpointed five specific issues that compromise tracking reliability:
- Reliance on self-reported data from marijuana businesses.
- Inconsistent weight measurement systems.
- Allowing untracked marijuana inventory in the first 90 days of licensure.
- Poor or insufficient data quality in the cannabis tracking system, Metric.
- An insufficient number of trained inspectors for onsite investigations.
The report proposed 17 fixes the Oregon Liquor Control Commission could make, including:
- Develop and implement standards and protocols for onsite inspections and investigations.
- Evaluate the need for and supply an adequate number of trained OLCC inspectors commensurate with the number of licensed marijuana businesses.
- Perform risk-based, onsite monitoring and inspections to ensure licensees are reporting accurate information in Metrc and maintaining compliance with applicable laws.
- Implement change management processes in line with industry-best practices, including measures that ensure test data remains segregated from the production environment.
Omar Sacirbey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org