OLCC Resumes Eastern Oregon Minor Decoy Operations Visits planned to Alcohol, Cannabis Licensees Objective to improve compliance rates

PORTLAND, Ore. – Inspectors from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) plan to fan out across eastern Oregon beginning this weekend with Minor Decoy Operations (MDO) focused on reducing alcohol service and cannabis sales to minors.

The MDO activity marks the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that the OLCC is able to conduct robust compliance checks in the eastern portion of the state.

“It’s important that as summer comes to a close, and young people return to school, we make sure our communities know we’re doing our part to combat underage drinking, and prevent young people from using marijuana,” said Craig Prins, interim OLCC Executive Director.

The current statewide compliance rate for alcohol sales is 76%; the eastern Oregon (Bend) region stands at 74%. For cannabis compliance, the Bend region is 88%, which is better than the statewide average of 84%.

The OLCC’s eastern Oregon regional office is based in Bend and covers Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler counties.

Prior to the pandemic the OLCC utilized volunteer minor decoys, typically members of law enforcement youth explorer programs. However, OLCC had difficulty getting volunteers to commit, so the agency’s Human Resources department determined a way that minor decoys could become OLCC employees and be compensated.

OLCC had started to recruit paid minor decoys just as the pandemic hit. Now the agency has been able to hire a full complement of decoys for all five of its regions, including eastern Oregon.

OLCC minor decoys are 18 or older, under the age of 21 and required to use their own legitimate legal identification when they attempt to purchase alcohol or cannabis products. The decoys are accompanied by a team of OLCC alcohol and cannabis inspectors.

MDO compliance rates, including information on what licensees passed or failed compliance checks, can be found here on the OLCC website.

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