For the second time in a year, Lunchbox Alchemy, a Bend cannabis processing company that makes cannabis oils, edibles, extracts and tinctures, has been fined by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
The company has agreed to pay $8,415 in fines by March 15 or serve a 51-day suspension for two violations, according to a stipulated agreement approved by the liquor control commission Thursday. One violation is for failing to keep surveillance recordings for 90 days and the other is for destroying potential evidence.
The violations stem from an event that occurred two years before when the company made the switch from a medical-marijuana license to a recreational license, which is controlled by the OLCC. The company failed to enter products into the cannabis tracking system, METRC, within the required 10-day window.
That product became evidence by the OLCC, and Lunchbox Alchemy was required to hold onto it, according to the OLCC. When the company moved into its new processing facility on Layton Avenue, it destroyed that product.
“We tried to do everything right,” said Burl Bryson, Lunchbox Alchemy CEO. “Everything is really complicated in this system. We were completely compliant in METRC, but not with the OLCC. Somehow, the conversation got miscommunicated about what could be destroyed.”
When the OLCC asked Lunchbox Alchemy about the cannabis tagged as evidence, it had been destroyed, Bryson said. The OLCC asked for copies of the video surveillance to show that the company had followed procedures, but Lunchbox Alchemy didn’t have the full 90 days worth.
A neighboring company’s video proved to the OLCC that the cannabis had been destroyed properly, according to the stipulated settlement agreement.
Lunchbox Alchemy started in 2014 as a medical marijuana processor. In 2016, it obtained a recreational license. And last January, it began processing products in California for that market at an 11,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Santa Rosa. Today, it makes gummy candies, hard candies and cookies. It’s products are found in about 370 recreational marijuana retail outlets in Oregon and California, according to the company’s distribution arm.
Both violations date to 2017, and the company was later fined in July 2018, according to OLCC records. The company paid a $1,485 fine for the failure to report to the cannabis tracking system. Since that time, Lunchbox Alchemy has hired a compliance officer and several other employees who work with cannabis tracking system, Bryson said.
“The product was too old to be of use to us anymore,” Bryson said. “It had been sitting for more than a year. It was all a miscommunication.”
— Reporter: 541-633-2117, firstname.lastname@example.org