The state has fined a Portland marijuana dispensary $2,500 for allowing a vendor to give away marijuana concentrates and pre-rolled joints in the parking lot on the opening day of recreational marijuana sales, according to a stipulated settlement order.

The order states that Cannacea, located in Northeast Portland, allowed the giveaway of marijuana products in its parking lot and failed to check the identification of people receiving the products to ensure they were 21 or older or that they were medical marijuana patients.

The document also states the products being given away lacked proper labeling and were not in child-resistant packages. 

The case represents the first disciplinary action against a dispensary since early recreational sales began Oct. 1.

The Oregon Health Authority, which oversees medical marijuana dispensaries and imposed the sanction, has hired about a dozen inspectors, but they don’t start until next month. Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the agency, said on Monday that staff from other departments has been directed to “conduct spot inspections of all dispensaries” statewide to ensure compliance with the early sales program.

The health authority investigated Cannacea on Oct. 1 after The Oregonian/OregonLive asked the agency whether a giveaway of marijuana-infused candies in the store’s parking lot was allowed under the state’s early sales program. Dispensaries can sell a limited amount of marijuana flower to people 21 and older. Seeds and young marijuana plants also may be sold.

Marijuana edibles and concentrates remain off-limits to recreational customers for now. 

The agency, which had one inspector in duty on the day recreational sales were launched, visited the store and found vendors giving away “shatter,” a concentrated form of marijuana, and pre-rolls to “any individual passing by, without checking identification.”

The agency cited Tisha Siler, the person responsible for the store, with five violations. Siler could not be reached for comment Monday. A message left at Cannacea was not immediately returned. 

The state, in its order, notes that Siler was personally told by state officials on Sept. 29 that “giveaways and providing or offering free marijuana of any kind were not permitted.” She was told the state could take action against the dispensary if the rules were violated.

A bulletin sent to all dispensaries one day later noted that giveaways and free samples of any marijuana inside or outside of the store were prohibited.

The state also said that Cannacea held a “grand opening event” in which it publicized free samples and a “drawing to win free cannabis for a year.”

Instead of suspending Siler’s license to operate the store, the state imposed the fine, which was due Monday. Officials said Siler paid the fine in full. 

— Noelle Crombie

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

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