42.39.503 VIOLATIONS, PROCEDURES, AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
(1) Evidence of violation by a licensee, a licensee's agent, or an employee of a licensee of any of the provisions of the marijuana laws is sufficient grounds for a warning, reprimand, suspension, revocation, and/or the assessment of a civil penalty in accordance with 16-12-109, MCA.
(2) Whenever the department seeks to impose a reprimand, suspension, revocation, and/or the assessment of a civil penalty in accordance with 16-12-109, MCA, the department shall serve a licensee with a notice of proposed department action. The notice of proposed department action shall, at a minimum:
(a) state the allegations;
(b) identify dates or approximate dates of the alleged incident;
(c) cite the specific statute, rule, or local ordinance that the alleged incident violates;
(d) list each alleged violation as a separate count;
(e) identify the penalty that the department seeks to impose; and
(f) provide the licensee with appeal rights, including the right to request an administrative hearing before the department's Office of Dispute Resolution.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of (2)(f), whenever the department proposes revocation of a marijuana testing laboratory license, that proposed department action is subject to judicial review in accordance with 16-12-202(10), MCA.
(4) Aggravating circumstances may result in the imposition of maximum monetary penalties, maximum suspension time, or revocation. In addition to those identified in 16-12-109, MCA, aggravating circumstances include, but are not limited to:
(a) no effort on the part of a licensee to prevent a violation from occurring;
(b) a licensee's failure to report a violation at the time of renewal;
(c) involvement of a licensee in the violation;
(d) repeated violations for sales to underage or intoxicated persons;
(e) providing marijuana or marijuana products to a person under 18 years of age that is not a registered cardholder;
(f) lack of cooperation by a licensee in an investigation;
(g) a violation's significant negative effect on the health and welfare of the community in which a licensee operates; and
(h) prior violations of the marijuana laws.
(5) Mitigating circumstances may result in the adjustment of monetary penalties, amount of suspension time, or in a determination not to revoke. In addition to those identified in 16-12-109, MCA, mitigating circumstances include, but are not limited to:
(a) the admissions of a licensee regarding violations of the marijuana laws prior to the department commencing investigation of the licensee;
(b) the existence of written policies that govern the conduct of a licensee's employees; or
(c) three or more years without a violation of the marijuana laws.
(6) Ignorance of the law is not considered a mitigating circumstance.
(7) In the event a reprimand is issued:
(a) the incident shall be considered a prior violation; and
(b) the department shall assess a civil penalty, described in ARM 42.39.507.
History: 16-12-112, MCA; IMP, 16-12-109, 16-12-112, 16-12-210, MCA; NEW, 2021 MAR p. 1964, Eff. 1/1/22.