SOUTH BEND — Marijuana dispensary Grower’s Outlet may have to chill out for awhile.
The outlet allegedly sold marijuana to a minor, according to a recent compliance check by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. The finding resulted in a potential $3,100 fine and a 15-day closure during Jan. 3-17, according to a press release by Road 2 Resiliency, a coalition.
The outlet is integrating new identification-checking technology and working with the board to train employees on how to check I.D.s, according to Road 2 Resiliency.
State law prohibits the sale of marijuana to individuals under 21 years old.
No one under 21 years old also is allowed on the premises where marijuana is sold.
The board is required to conduct at least three compliance checks in a year in stores that sell tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.
Marijuana is also legal in Oregon. However, the drug is not legal throughout the U.S.
Federally, marijuana is considered to be on the same level of drugs such as ecstasy, heroin and LSD.
This is the outlet’s second compliance check offense. Another check in 2018 found the Outlet sold marijuana to a minor. If the outlet is caught selling marijuana to a minor again, the outlet’s license may be terminated by the state.
The outlet can appeal the fine and closure.
Road 2 Resiliency’s prevention team chose to focus on marijuana substance misuse in South Bend before the 2018-2019 school year. More than 60 percent of 10th and 12th grade students said marijuana is “very easy to get” in a 2016 Healthy Youth Survey. The finding led Road 2 Resiliency to partner with the board.
Marijuana distributors are treated more severely by state law than alcohol distributors when selling to minors, according to Road 2 Resiliency.
“In the eyes of the law, at that point, you are considered a drug dealer,” said Officer Donald Williams, who works for the board.
Selling marijuana from one’s home or giving it as a gift could be considered offenses under state law.
Road 2 Resiliency holds meetings from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. on the first Monday each month at South Bend School. The organization’s mission is to “have resilient youth, healthy families and empowered communities.”
The board’s general information phone number is 360-664-1600. Information about the board is also online at https://lcb.wa.gov.
The board accepts tips and suggestions. The community is encouraged to call about underage alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use.
“Anyone can call us and they can be as anonymous as they would like,” Williams said.