SALEM, Ore. — To the beat of electronic dance music, men and women inside a slate-gray building harvested marijuana plants festooned with radio-frequency identification tags. In another room, an employee entered the tag numbers into a government database.
The cannabis tracking system used by Avitas, a marijuana company with a production facility in Salem, is the backbone of Oregon’s regulatory system to ensure businesses with marijuana licenses obey the rules and don’t divert their product into the black market.
A huge amount of data is entered into the system by Oregon’s 1,800 licensees every day, a reality that means the state has a tremendous amount of information at its fingertips. But the reality also is the state doesn’t have the manpower to monitor all that data.
The marijuana regulatory agency — the Oregon Liquor Control Commission — has only one marijuana data analyst, and not enough inspectors to randomly inspect grow sites and processing facilities to ensure the accuracy of the data they are providing.
A recent state audit concluded the lack of trained inspectors and “reliability issues” with self-reported data hurt the commission’s monitoring of Oregon’s adult-use marijuana program. [Read more @ washingtonpost.com]