Herbery location faces 30-day closure after selling to minor
East Vancouver marijuana shop The Herbery faces a month-long closure after selling to an underage investigator from the state Liquor and Cannabis Board.
The retailer, one of a trio under The Herbery brand, reportedly sold a joint in January to a 19-year-old investigative aide from the state agency.
It is the second strike for that location, on Northeast 164th Avenue, after selling to a minor in August 2015. It now faces a 30-day suspension beginning Feb. 27 and a $1,000 fine.
The latest incident stemmed from a regular compliance check by the state agency. The aide reportedly walked into The Herbery and showed her ID to a management trainee who did not notice she was underage. A budtender also did not perform a second ID check, as per store policy, said owner Jim Mullen.
“We fully support the compliance check efforts of the LCB as they are a key tactic in upholding the safety of our marketplace,” he said. “We are disappointed that two members of our staff fell short of our company’s strict expectations of ensuring that minors are not present in our store or able to make purchases from our store.”
Both employees have been fired. Mullen said the violations and punishments only impact that one store.
Mullen added he plans to appeal the decision for a lesser punishment at this point.
“There has not yet been a final determination as to what the penalty will be,” he said.
According to the Liquor and Cannabis Board, one more violation results in a license revocation. The agency also said that there have been 92 compliance checks since 2015 with only five violations.
Mullen could face separate repercussions. He is president of the Washington CannaBusiness Association, a statewide group representing various players in the legal marijuana marketplace.
“A black eye to the company is a black eye to me,” he said. “Things like this are going to happen and if the board wants me to resign, I’d be happy to do that. If they don’t think I’m the right person for the job, I’d happily step aside from my office and contribute in whatever way I can.”