Local News

100 Percent Compliance from Alcohol Retailers; Sage Shop Sells Pot to Teen

May 06, 2016

Thursday night, the Omak and Oroville Police Departments conducted local alcohol and marijuana retail compliance checks in Omak, Okanogan, and Oroville through a collaborative agreement with Okanogan County Community Coalition.

In total, thirteen retailers were checked in Omak and Okanogan and four retailers were checked in Oroville.  All alcohol retailers that were checked passed, and refused to sell alcohol to the underage investigative aide. Stores in Omak and Okanogan that passed the alcohol compliance check include: Omak Texaco, Valley Lanes, Safeway, Rite Aide, Omak Liquor Store, Gene’s Harvest Foods, Omak Chevron, Flying B, Beaver Trap, Casos Family Foods, and Stampede Mini-Mart. Oroville alcohol retailers that passed include: Frontier Foods, Oroville 76 Station, Prince’s Foods, and Oroville Texaco.

This is the first time Omak and Oroville Police Departments have checked for both alcohol and marijuana retail store compliance since the legalization of marijuana.  Caribou Corner Cannabis passed their compliance check and refused to let the 18-year-old even enter the establishment. Unfortunately, not only did Omak’s marijuana retail store The Sage Shop let the underage investigative aide enter the store, the clerk sold one gram of marijuana to the 18-year-old. Omak Police Department will complete the investigation and refer the case to the Okanogan County Prosecutor for review of possible charges.

Under Washington State Law, sale of marijuana to a person under 21 is a class C felony. In addition, the case will also be forwarded to Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board for possible administrative action which could include fines and license suspension. Under Washington law administrative violations that could apply to this case include: sale or service to a minor which is subject to a 10-day suspension or $2,500 monetary fine and allowing a minor to frequent a restricted area which carries a $1,000 monetary fine to the licensee.

Andi Ervin, Executive Director Okanogan County Community Coalition, said “We are thrilled that all, one hundred percent, of the alcohol retailers that were checked last night refused to sell alcohol to the underage person.” She said, “This is always what we want to report. We want the youth in our community to know to not even bother trying to buy alcohol from our stores, because we don’t do that here." She said, "It makes my day when I can comment on 100% compliance.”

 “Unfortunately,” Ervin said, “within approximately two minutes an eighteen year old walked into The Sage Shop, bought a gram of marijuana, and walked back to the unmarked Omak Police Department vehicle.” She said, “That is very troubling; especially since this store’s location has always concerned us.” Ervin said, “Sadly The Sage Shop is situated right where our kids frequent.” She said, “I am hopeful that they will be much more mindful in the future of their social responsibility to ensure that their product is not sold to persons under 21.” “On the bright side,” Ervin said, “the store in Okanogan did not sell – and would not even let the underage person come into the store.  This is exactly what is supposed to happen – so that is very encouraging.”

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