The state took several new steps this week to reduce the size of Oregon’s cannabis black market — including efforts to keep it away from kids.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission now requires cannabis growers provide advance notice of their harvests. The idea is to allow officials to turn up in the fields — if they choose to — and make sure plants aren’t being siphoned-off for the black market.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission is taking steps to reduce the marijuana black market and keep it away from kids.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission is taking steps to reduce the marijuana black market and keep it away from kids.

Kristian Foden-Vencil/OPB

The commission also passed a rule allowing it to revoke the marijuana worker permit of anyone selling to a minor. “Today’s action holds individuals with marijuana worker permits as responsible as our licensees because it puts in jeopardy their right to work in the legal cannabis industry,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair.

“However, it’s a privilege — not a right — to hold a license. We want to be in a position to take stronger action against those who don’t take the privilege of their license seriously, and will be addressing strengthening our sanctions in an upcoming session.”

OLCC executive director, Steve Marks, says they’ve designed the rules to be seamless because they want producers to make them part of their normal business operations. “At the same time it serves a very important function to preserve the integrity of our regulated market to keep what’s produced by the regulated market in the regulated market,” said Marks.

“That is exactly why we have worked hard with industry, law enforcement and public officials to make this a rule that can bring a sense of transparent accountability to the harvest.”

In 2017, the commission started a sting operation designed to catch people selling to minors. Fines were increased and compliance improved. But the commission is having trouble with repeat violators.