Oregon’s marijuana regulatory agency faces state audit

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The Oregon secretary of state plans to audit the state’s recreational marijuana regulatory agency and how the program enforces cannabis rules.

According to The Oregonian, the audit announcement precedes a Tuesday visit to Oregon by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who wrote to Gov. Kate Brown this summer expressing concerns that the state has been unsuccessful in slowing the state’s black market.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) – which manages the state’s recreational marijuana program – also was audited earlier this year by an outside group, The Oregonian reported.

The independent audit concluded that the OLCC was overburdened by the demands of enforcement and faced a high risk of “financial, legal and reputational” problems, according to the newspaper. In response, the agency said it would hire more staff, including a public safety director.

OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks told The Oregonian he will embrace the secretary of state’s audit because he believes the agency has a “solid foundation” for overseeing the state’s cannabis industry. He also said the OLCC is still beefing up its enforcement staff.