A number of months in the past, I wrote on the Oregon Liquor Management Fee’s (OLCC) new Verification of Compliance (“Repair-it or Ticket”) program that focuses training somewhat than penalties for sure rule violations. This week the Guidelines Advisory Committee (“RAC”) introduced a Marijuana Violation Reclassification Bundle which, if adopted, will cut back the presumptive penalties for sure sorts of rule violations. (Full textual content of the proposed modifications here). The RAC is holding a public assembly this Friday, February 12. Particulars on attend just about could discovered on the OLCC’s web site.

This spherical of rulemaking addresses six areas – every mentioned beneath. By the use of background, the OLCC sanctions schedule is specified by tiers starting from probably the most severe, license cancellation for Class I violations to fines and suspensions for Class II by way of IV violations. (See here.) For background on what to do in the event you or your marijuana enterprise receives discover from the OLCC a couple of rule violation and potential sanction, see here. With that, let’s check out the proposed modifications.

Discover of Arrest or Conviction

OAR 845-025-1160(2) requires a licensee or applicant notify the OLCC in writing of any arrest, quotation in lieu of arrest, or a conviction of a misdemeanor or felony. The present rule requires the licensee accomplish that inside 24 hours of the triggering occasion and supplies that the failure to inform so is Class I violation – so the presumptive penalty is license cancellation.

The proposed rule would give licensees 72 hours to inform the OLCC following a triggering occasion. And as a substitute of a Class I violation for failing to provide well timed discover, the brand new rule would make the failure to inform the OLCC of a conviction a Class II violation and the failure to inform the OLCC of an arrest a Class III violation. The proposed change is silent on “quotation in lieu of arrest,” presumable the failure to inform is also a Class III violation.

This alteration is sensible from a sensible perspective, as in some cases it might be inconceivable to inform the OLCC inside 24 hours. The downgrade from a Class I violation additionally is sensible given the magnitude of the hurt ensuing from a well timed failure to inform. Though the sanction is diminished, an arrest or conviction could trigger licensee points at renewal, even when the OLCC was well timed notified. Whether or not the arrest or conviction will accomplish that relies on the character of the arrest/conviction and the encircling circumstances.

Required Digital camera Protection and Digital camera Placement

OAR 845-025-1440 requires licensees to have complete digicam protection for licensed premises. The protection space contains any space the OLCC believes presents a public security danger and all areas the place marijuana is required to be saved, destroyed, or rendered unusable. And the licensee should guarantee cameras seize “clear and sure” photographs of any individuals and exercise inside 15 ft inside and outdoors of any factors of ingress or egress and all areas inside restricted entry areas and the place client gross sales happen.

Violating these necessities presently is a Class II violation, however the OLCC proposes altering this to Class III. It is a very welcome change as licensees typically discovered themselves in violation of the digicam protection necessities due to errors by the safety providers supplier. That mentioned, licensees ought to know that violating sure parts of OAR 845-025-1440 stay a Class I violation.

Video Recording Necessities for Licensed Services

OAR 845-025-1450 imposes 24-hour video recording necessities on licensees. The present rule requires a licensee to inform the OLCC “instantly” of any gear failure or system outage lasting half-hour or extra. The proposed rule offers licensees 24 hours to take action.

The proposed rule additionally reduces the penalties for sure violations from Class I and II to Class III violations. Among the many reductions from Class II to Class III is the requirement {that a} licensee have an maintain off-site backup recordings for no less than 30 days.

Once more, it is a welcome change as many violations resulted from errors by safety service suppliers or surprising energy outages. Licensees, nevertheless, shouldn’t take the discount in penalties as permission to deal with the recording necessities frivolously. Though the OLCC could also be lenient for a single, remoted violation, I anticipate the OLCC is not going to take repeated violations frivolously traceable to a safety providers supplier or not.

Harvest Notification

OAR 845-025-2090 requires growers to file a harvest discover previous to harvesting usable marijuana. The present rule supplies that failure to file a harvest discover is a Class III violation, “for every day the violation happens.” The proposed rule would remove the quoted language

The change is important in that below the present rule a licensee could doubtlessly be charged with a number of violations for failing to submit a harvest discover for a selected harvest. Suppose a licensee harvests on August 1 however doesn’t file the discover till August 15, that’s doubtlessly 15 separate Class III violations as a substitute of a single violation. I learn the proposed rule as making {that a} single Class III violation.

Processing for Cardholders

OAR 845-025-3305 governs marijuana processors who work with OMMP cardholders. The present rule supplies that the OLCC “could cancel or droop” processor’s registration below the rule for a violation of any of the provisions. The OLCC proposes to make a violation of OAR 845-025-3305 a Class III violation. The impact of this proposed change is probably going minimal because the medical marijuana market has largely given technique to the leisure market. However at the least it supplies readability for processors working below this rule.

Allowing hemp on a licensed premises, besides as allowed by the principles

The ultimate change considerations hemp. OAR 845-025-8520(11)(e) states {that a} licensee could not allow hemp or a hemp merchandise on the licensed premises until in any other case allowed by the principles. (Often acquiring a license to have hemp on an OLCC licensed premises is an easy job.) A violation is a Class I offense. The proposed change would maintain an “intentional” violation of the rule on the Class I degree however would make an “unintentional” violation a Class III offense. The reasoning behind this modification is opaque. Maybe it displays the ubiquity of “hemp gadgets” (e.g. CBD merchandise) within the possession of licensees.

The attention-grabbing shift is the division between “intentional” and “unintentional” violations. For years, the OLCC has taken a strict liability view of the principles – that means the OLCC didn’t care whether or not or not a licensee (or its worker) deliberately violated a rule or just made a careless mistake.

Licensees, and attorneys like us who signify quite a lot of licensees in administrative proceedings, strongly dislike strict legal responsibility. From our perspective, strict legal responsibility is simply too onerous and too typically leads to punishments that don’t match the crime. Let’s hope that the development of differentiating between “intentional” and “unintentional” violations continues because the OLCC continues to revise the principles governing marijuana licensees.

For different current writings on Oregon hashish and the OLCC, see: