DENVER, CO - April 20 2016: A 4/20 reveler walks past members of the Denver Police department while exhaling from a vaporizer during the annual stoner holiday. The Denver Police department had a presence, surrounding the annual 4/20 smoke out in Denver's Civic Center Park across from the Colorado state house, some participants were cited for underage or public use. (Photo by Vince Chandler / The Denver Post)

Oregon pot shops caught selling to underage buyers

PORTLAND, Ore. — Nearly 20 percent of state-licensed marijuana retailers in a recent undercover operation sold pot to underage buyers, according to Oregon authorities.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission told The Oregonian/OregonLive in a story on Saturday that 16 of 86 shops sold marijuana to people younger than 21 during the December decoy visits.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Executive Director Steve Marks says the results are unacceptable.

“Oregonians who voted for legalizing recreational marijuana implicitly told the cannabis industry to abide by public safety laws,” Marks said in a statement. “Clearly they’re not.”

The agency said Portland area shops had the worst results, while none of the central Oregon stores sold to underage visitors. The agency issued citations to the shops that broke the law in a process that could result in fees or a temporary suspension of their licenses.

Anna Schrab, owner of AmeriCannaRX in Portland, was among the shops the state said sold to an underage customer, a result she called “embarrassing.”

She said she fired the employee who did the transaction and is buying a device that scans the identification of buyers. She also said she’s offering employees a bonus if they catch underage buyers.

Dan Morse owns a marijuana store in Portland that wasn’t visited by inspectors in December. He said the underage sales were likely the result of a lack of training for employees.

“It’s a matter of training and making sure people are doing their jobs trying to catch people coming in who are underage,” he said.

Mark Pettinger, a liquor commission spokesman, said more decoy operations are planned and the agency intends to visit every licensed marijuana store in the state annually.

Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive