Avoiding packaging regulations could have resulted in fines worth millions for the Oregon cannabis processor had it not been for the cap on the fine

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The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission ultimately decides on a $ 124,000 fine, citing potential public safety implications as the label could fall off.

Author of the article:

Angela Stelmakowich

Publication date:

Oct 26, 202129 minutes agoRead for 3 minutes Join the conversation The administrative judge agreed with the Commission's earlier finding that Luminous Botanicals The administrative judge agreed with the Commission’s earlier finding that Luminous Botanicals “sold small vials of a THC tincture made from marijuana when it did not meet OLCC rules.” / Photo by Aleksandr_Kravtsov / Getty Images

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Members of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) unanimously agreed during a meeting last week that a Portland-based recreational cannabis processor should be fined “for deliberately evading packaging and labeling regulations to protect consumers “.

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Initially, the OLCC charged Luminous Botanicals with multiple violations – as any sale of the sample-size vial product in question was a violation – and ordered the maximum fine of $ 100,000 ($ 124,000), according to an OLCC publication.

“Without the upper limit of civil penalties, the proposed violations would have resulted in a proposed fine in the millions,” the commission reports. Before the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) issued its ruling backing the commission’s view last August, the OLCC decided to settle the case for $ 30,000 ($ 37,200).

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However, the company’s attorney argued before the ALJ that it simply made a mistake “and deserved indulgence in the form of a warning rather than a fine,” according to the OLCC.

The ALJ agreed with the Commission’s earlier finding that Luminous Botanicals “sold small vials of a THC tincture made from marijuana when it did not meet OLCC rules.” In this case, the commission opted for a fine of $ 100,000 ($ 124,000) instead of a warning.

The core of the OLCC’s concern was that the Luminous Botanicals product had misapplied labels that could fall off. “These unlabelled vials with no markings indicating that their contents are marijuana could be accidentally used by an unsuspecting consumer and pose a public safety problem,” the commission reports.

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Each sample size bottle of “Universal Cannabis Tonic” was labeled with less than 28 grams of the THC-containing product, which should be enough for about two servings.

Despite being asked to do so by the Commission, Luminous Botanicals refused, after working with the company for more than a year to find a solution to design their labels by properly labeling the thumb-sized vial in accordance with OLCC packaging and labeling regulations Commission claims.

In addition, the company decided to continue selling the product throughout their work with OLCC employees.

“Small bottles of marijuana products make no difference whether the product comes from the legal or illegal market,” said Steve Marks, Executive Director of OLCC. “That’s what this was about,” adds Marks.

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According to Willamette Week, an attorney for the company owner reports that he will seek a judicial review of the verdict. “Imposing a six-figure penalty for an accidental mistake only serves to deter people in the illegal industry from becoming legal,” Kevin Jacoby is quoted as saying.

Ganjapreneur reports that Luminous Botanicals has distributed 35,000 vials of the product to pharmacies and customers. The OLCC argued that the maximum fine of $ 100,000 ($ 124,000) was “measured and reasoned application of licensing laws and regulations,” one of which is to promote deterrence.

Oregon’s Recreational Marijuana Program advises that labels “must contain all text, logos, images, and graphics printed or attached to packaging.” Generic labels that only contain the required information listed in the rule and have no graphics, images or logos anywhere “do not need to be submitted to the OLCC for approval”.

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Information from the Oregon Health Authority states that “The rules for labeling requirements establish labeling standards that include, at a minimum, health and safety warnings, activation time, potency, serving size (if applicable), and item content (if applicable).”

Commission decisions have been in the news lately. In September, the OLCC announced that hemp CBD tincture, manufactured by Cura CS, LLC and sold under the Select brand, is now subject to a mandatory recall because it contained undisclosed levels of THC and “unexpectedly affects users.” could become”.

And in May, the commission recalled vapes sold under the labels “Naked Extracts” and “Native” for allegedly containing ingredients imported from California that were added after the products were tested for efficacy, pesticides and solvents.

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