Oregon's enforcement of marijuana production and sales will get its first audit from the secretary of state.

The audit will offer an official look at how well Oregon regulates its marijuana program, which is run by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

The audit will look at how the state keeps track of the largely cash-based industry, including the effectiveness of its financial regulations, whether regulators are keeping close tabs on the amount of marijuana produced and whether the state provides timely and appropriate guidance to marijuana businesses.

In a letter over the summer to Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions raised concerns about how effective the state has been in cracking down on the notorious black market for marijuana. Sessions will be in Portland on Tuesday, scheduled to talk to law enforcement officials about immigration and other things.

A draft of an Oregon State Police report from earlier this year concluded that the state remains a top cannabis source for the black market in and out of the state. Brown and the state police have distanced themselves from the report, which they've said isn't based on accurate information.

This month, the liquor control commission announced it would work closely with state police assigned to marijuana enforcement to investigate black market diversion. State police detectives assigned to enforcement will be based in Medford.

Earlier this year, a separate audit found that regulating marijuana, coupled with legislative changes to the legal cannabis program, "have created a strain" on the liquor control commission.

The review, performed by an outside group, concluded that the agency is at high risk for "financial, legal and reputational" problems if marijuana rules aren't consistently applied.

In response, agency leaders said they planned to hire more staff, including a public safety director, which they hope will help them better regulate the program.

Steve Marks, the commission's executive director, on Monday said he welcomes a state audit. He said his agency, which is still ramping up staffing for enforcement, has a "solid foundation" for regulating marijuana.

"It's clearly a work in progress," he said.



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