Search Results for: OREGON

Kaycha Announces Three New Labs In Massachusetts, Nevada & Oregon

With locations across the U.S., Kaycha Labs is establishing a national network of Cannabis and Hemp labs that provides essential product quality and safety information

FLORIDA: Kaycha Labs, a leader in Cannabis and Hemp testing technologies and methods, is adding three new states to its national network of labs. The company’s nine labs are in California, Colorado, Florida (Fort Lauderdale/Davie and Gainesville), Massachusetts, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Tennessee.

In recent weeks, Kaycha has acquired Evio Labs in Medford, Oregon, signed a definitive agreement to acquire DB Labs in anticipation of Clark County and Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board approvals, and received a provisional license to open and operate a lab in Natick, Massachusetts. Both the Oregon and Nevada labs were early entrants to their respective markets; Evio Labs Medford commenced operations in 2014 and DB Labs was organized in 2014 and operates its ~11,500-square-foot lab several blocks away from the Las Vegas Strip. The Massachusetts lab is a new build and is strategically located in Natick near major interstate highways within a couple hours driving time to all major customers.

James Horvath, CEO of Kaycha Labs, commented, “We know that the Cannabis industry is rapidly consolidating and that national Cannabis companies are working hard to build national brands. As they grow, we appreciate that there is a need for a testing partner who can provide and apply a uniform and consistent process.  Furthermore, all Kaycha labs will be equipped with back-up instrumentation so that client testing is not interrupted by an outage.” Chris Martinez, Kaycha Labs’ President, added, “We know clients value quality testing, fast turnaround times, and attractive pricing. And by adding to our network, we will be achieving even more scale, which will allow us to continue to lower our cost structure and pass these savings along to our clients.”

Oregon Cannabis Social Equity Bill Introduced

OREGON:  Repairing the harm from decades of inequity from the War on Drugs is the goal of the Cannabis Social Equity Act introduced this week by a coalition of legislators in the Oregon State Legislature. HB 3112 is the culmination of months of work led by former State Rep. Akasha Lawrence Spencer including numerous cannabis companies, the NuLeaf Project, the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, the City of Portland, Urban League, and law students from Willamette University.

“We came together with a common purpose – to undo and repair some of the harm caused by cannabis criminalization on Black, Indignenious and Latinx communities in Oregon,” said Rep. Lawrence Spence. “This legislation uses cannabis tax revenue to invest in Oregonians who have been unjustly targeted for decades by law enforcement, in an effort to repair some of the generational harm done to their communities.”

Chief sponsors of HB 3112 include Representatives Janelle Bynum, Ricki Ruiz, Mark Meek, Julie Fahey and Senators Lew Frederick and Kayse Jama. Current sponsors include Representatives Karin Power, Pam Marsh and Maxine Dexter.

Jeanette Ward Horton, executive director of NuLeaf Project, has been working with the coalition since its inception eight months ago. NuLeaf Project receives funding from City of Portland cannabis tax revenues and private donations to aid cannabis start up companies with funds, technical assistance and job placement/training.

“We’ve seen the harm to far too many families to not address this issue. Cannabis convictions bring challenges that ripple through families and cause hardship for the children of children whose parents were disproportionately arrested. The loss of jobs, education grants, housing and more that can all stem from a minor cannabis conviction have impacted communities of color for generations. Today Oregon has the chance to undo some of that harm,” said Ward-Horton.

The bill contains three major provisions:

  • Direct investment in cannabis businesses owned by Black, Indigenious, and Latina/o/x people, as well as people convicted of cannabis crimes. Creates investment in home and land ownership, job training, health care, education and other areas determined by the Cannabis Equity Board.
  • Free, automatic expungement of eligible cannabis criminal convictions paid for by cannabis tax revenues as needed. Previous legislation saw less than 200 of 28,000 eligible Oregonians successfully complete expungement.
  • Equity licenses for Black-, Indigenous-, and Latina/o/x  owned cannabis companies with reduced fees and modified requirements to initially qualify. Provides for funding of two OLCC positions to aid in the licensure process, and includes the addition of three license types beneficial for the small businesses owner.

Chief Sponsor and State Rep. Ricki Ruiz said fixing the expungement process is a critical piece of the legislation.

“Less than 200 out of 28,000 Oregonians eligible for expungement were able to successfully complete the process in the past two years. We need to do better,” said Ruiz. “This bill provides us the path and the funding we need to efficiently remove previous cannabis crimes from people’s records and provide them the opportunity to repair their lives from the harm caused by cannabis criminalization. It is a critical step toward restoring the health of these individuals and the communities where they reside.”

Gabe Parton Lee, General Counsel at Wyld, spearheaded the design of the automatic expungement process

“What we clearly see is that those left in the destructive wake of cannabis prohibition have been helped the least by cannabis legalization. Instead, we see a rapidly-growing industry that has largely left behind people and communities who disproportionately suffered under cannabis criminalization,” said Parton Lee, general counsel for Wyld. “We are advocating for the use of cannabis tax dollars to help correct some of these long standing issues of inequity and provide for direct investment into people and neighborhoods most impacted by cannabis prohibition.”

State Rep. Julie Fahey helped drive the creation of the bill when she passed legislation in 2019 calling for a work group to develop a cannabis social equity program.

“This effort has brought together a diverse group of advocates, business owners, and industry partners to develop one of the most comprehensive equity bills in the country – breaking down barriers for BIPOC Oregonians and investing in the communities most harmed by cannabis criminalization. The cannabis industry is a driver of economic opportunity for entrepreneurs in our state, and this bill will help ensure that those harmed by the war on drugs have access to those opportunities,” said Fahey.

A coalition of cannabis companies and trade groups including the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Oregon Industry Progress Association, and the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association have all united around this legislation as the key cannabis related bill for the 2021 session. Major sponsors include Groundworks industries, Wyld, Wana and Dutchie with dozens of other cannabis companies, law firms and others supporting the effort.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Licensing Director Message: Marijuana Licensing Streamlining Update

January 8, 2021

A Phased Approach

Early in 2020 because interest to enter Oregon’s expanding recreational marijuana market continued to grow, it became clear that we needed a new approach for processing marijuana license applications. In response, my staff and I conducted a program evaluation in March 2020, to identify opportunities for improvement throughout the licensing program. Aside from the need for our staffing resources to grow to match the industry’s requirements (which we will continue to address with our legislative partners) we developed a formal year-long improvement strategy outlined below in three phases.

Phase 1: Streamlined license renewal process (Complete)

This included reducing the complexity of renewal applications, making licensing system updates and updating internal processes regarding renewals. Improvements to our renewal system went live August 4, 2020.

Outcome: Marijuana license renewals process times have been reduced from an average of 347 days from submission in Q4 2019, to 156 days from submission in Q4 2020. Current licensees should realize these improvements at their next renewal period occurring after August 4, 2020.

 

Phase 2: Removal of Pre-licensing Inspections and streamlining workflows (Complete)

In April 2020, the Commission eliminated the requirement to conduct pre-licensing onsite inspections before issuing a license, and during last summer we made improvements to licensing workflows by reducing redundant routine reviews of work and providing more empowerment to staff. Our evaluation showed this was taking as much as 40-50% of the processing time for new applications; these improvements removed that constraint.

Outcome: Marijuana license application process times from assignment have been reduced from an average of 168 days in Q4 2019 to the average of 61 days in Q4 2020.

 

Phase 3: Entrusting the Industry (Complete)

The overall philosophy of this change was rethinking how we address marijuana licensing. Specifically, phase 3 changes reduced the level of scrutiny for applicants who have already been vetted and previously licensed. Further, the agency reassigned personnel and added contract workers to solely focus on licensing activity. The Commission also approved “streamlining licensing,” rule changes at our October 15, 2020 Commission meeting.

Outcome: License application processing times approved during the month of December 2020, averaged 54 days from the date of assignment. These tangible changes have reduced the back and forth between applicants and the Commission.

 

The Readiness Checklist: Who’s ready? Who’s not?

In addition, we’ve implemented a new process to provide us more insight into applicants within our applicant pool by utilizing a request for assignment form (aka “The Readiness Checklist”). This process helps identify a marijuana license applicant’s desire to be assigned and enables them to self-determine their readiness to complete the license process within the required 60 day period.

As of November 16, 2020, my staff has reached out to all 881 “pre-pause” applicants, to determine their desire and readiness to be assigned. Pre-pause applicants include applications submitted prior to the June 15, 2018, pause on processing licenses. As of January 5, 2021, we have:

  • 319 or approximately 36% of the 881 applications are ready to be assigned
  • 360 or approximately 40% of applicants have said they are not ready
  • These applicants have delayed assignment by an average of 5 months.
  • 139 applicants not respond at all.
  • 49 application withdrawals.
  • The remaining 14 are in process.

As of January 6, 2021, we have assigned all applicants who’ve requested to be assigned as of that date. Additionally, as we receive requests for assignments, now we are consistently able to assign applications within two to four weeks of receiving the request for assignment form.

In addition to this progress on new marijuana license applications, we have been able to reduce the time it takes to assign change requests (e.g. location, ownership, etc.) from four to six months in Q3 2019, to approximately two months in Q3 2020. Moving forward, while we further refine our processes, our standard is to be able to assign these requests within 60 days of receiving them.

Regarding the non-responsive applicants, we’ve reached out to each one and subsequently followed up with those applicants prior to December 12, 2020 in order to provide a final opportunity for them to respond before inactivating their application.

Industry members and applicants should ensure they are monitoring any communications from the Commission and double check that the contact information affiliated with the license application is up to date.

 

The New Year: What’s next?

Earlier this year, OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks committed to reducing the backlog of license applications by one third by February 1, 2021; at the time he made that pledge that meant reducing our application pool by a total of 350 applications. The progress we have demonstrated leads me to believe we will meet, or come close to, accomplishing that goal. Should we not be able to, this will be in large part due to the number of applicants who’ve indicated they’re not ready to be assigned. As mentioned above, we are assigning applications within two to four weeks of receiving a request for assignment form. The average time to process a license application once it’s assigned was 61 days in Q4 2020; that’s a significant reduction and close to the new standard we’ve set.

With the changes we’ve made this year and at the current pace that we receive license applications, this should not be difficult to maintain going forward. These accomplishments truly deliver what the industry asked us to address, both in timeliness and predictability. We hope this serves as an example of how we will continue to work with the industry and to strive to improve and make Oregon a leader in the cannabis industry and a model for cannabis regulation.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback and guidance that will help us collectively make constructive improvements to the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program.

Jason Hanson

OLCC Director of Licensing

Jason.hanson@oregon.gov

 

 

Oregon: OLCC Commission Greenlights Solution For Streamlining License Applications

Commission supports “fix-it ticket” approach for minor compliance violations

Marijuana license stipulated settlements approved

OREGON: At its regular monthly meeting on October 15, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission moved forward with plans to streamline the agency’s recreational marijuana licensing process and adjust compliance and enforcement activity through a Verification of Compliance (VOC) program. The Commission also approved five marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

OLCC has been challenged to timely issue marijuana licenses since April 2016, due to the continued interest in the recreational market. Personnel and technology support have not kept pace with license applications that quickly shot past the initial projection of 800 licenses and now number more than 2,300.

As the industry has matured, the agency’s ability to regulate it has evolved and the OLCC has modified its licensing process several times in an attempt to streamline. This latest licensing process adjustment attempts to make it easier for applicants to begin operating before the final approval of changes in ownership and financial interest changes in a licensed business.

Likening the existing license process to a freeway that squeezes from 10 lanes down to two, the Chair of the Commission cautioned that efficiencies made through continuous adjustments to the licensing process would not be enough to address the long term licensing challenge.

“We’re not kidding ourselves, if we don’t get the manpower, the back end is going to be two lanes regardless of the ten lanes up front,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Chair. “If we don’t get the budget, we’re not going to solve this issue.”

For now, this licensing catch-up attempt will be similar to past efforts where staff were reallocated to the licensing division. Under this push to catchup, 16 OLCC staff members will be temporarily reassigned to licensing.

In addition to approving a temporary rule allowing the license process change, the Commission also initiated the permanent rulemaking process, which will expand the scope of the streamlining, as well as provide an opportunity for industry input.

The Commission also initiated the permanent rule making process for the new Verification of Compliance (VOC) program. The VOC program, which launched October 1, 2020, provides licensees with an opportunity to fix problems and avoid more severe penalties.

See Recreational Marijuana Program Compliance Education Bulletin 2020-05 for more information on the Verification of Compliance program.

The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

GREENRIDGE AGRONOMY will serve a 65-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension OR pay a fine of $5,775 AND serve a 30-day license suspension cfor six violations.

Licensee is: GreenRidge Agronomy, LLC; Stanley Tamiyasu, Member; Brandon Pierson, Member.

HEALING GREEN DISPENSARY in Independence will surrender its marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Healing Green, LLC; Michael Hecht, Member.

KAYA FARMS (#A8DF) will surrender its recreational marijuana processor license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Sunstone Marketing Partners, LLC; Robert Frey, Member/Manager.

KAYA FARMS (#035C) will surrender its recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are: Sunstone Marketing Partners, LLC; Robert Frey, Member/Manager.

UPMQUA GREEN CROSS in Roseburg will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for seven violations.

Licensees are: Umpqua Green Cross, LLC; Edward Allen, Member.

OREGON: OLCC Commission Approves Permanent Rules for Curbside Delivery

Continues social distancing approach to prevent spread of Covid-19

OMMP cardholder daily purchase increased

Marijuana license stipulated settlements approved

OREGON:

At its regular monthly meeting on September 11, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved permanent rules allowing licensed recreational marijuana retailers to continue curbside delivery transactions, and increased the marijuana flower purchase amount for OMMP cardholders and caregivers. The Commission also approved ten marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic started, the OLCC approved temporary rules designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The change encouraged social distancing by allowing licensed marijuana retailers to conduct limited transactions outside but close to their physical location. Under the permanent rule licensed retailers can continue to take orders and deliver product to a person outside the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.

The Commission believes this has proven to be an effective approach to limiting interactions and exposure to COVID. Although this rule is being made permanent due to the pandemic, commission staff will revisit this rule at a later date.

Commissioners also approved continuing the daily purchase limits for OMMP cardholders and caregivers that were approved in temporary rule on March 22, 2020. OMMP cardholders and caregivers will continue to be able to purchase up to 24 ounces per day and no more than 32 ounces per month.

The permanent rules take effect September 18, 2020.

The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

Green Valley Wellness in Talent will pay a fine of $4,950 OR serve a 30-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensee is: Green Valley Wellness, LLC; P&M Holdings, LLC; Peter Gross, Member; Michael Monarch, Member.

Ahanu Yates; permitee will serve a 30-day marijuana worker permit suspension or pay a $750 fine.

Crystal O’Connell; permitee will serve a 30-day marijuana worker permit suspension or pay a $750 fine.

Juliet King; permitee will serve a 30-day marijuana worker permit suspension or pay a $750 fine.

Tyler Kinert; permitee will serve a 30-day marijuana worker permit suspension or pay a $750 fine.

Heiple L3 will pay a fine of $1,155 OR serve a seven-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Heiple L3, LLC; William Ng, Member.

Yachats Cannabis Company in Yachats will pay a fine of $1,155 OR serve a 7-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Yachats Cannabis Company, LLC; Aaron Bishop, Member; Kati Bishop, Member.

Dark Star Productions will pay a fine of $8,085 OR serve a 49-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are: Dark Star Productions, LLC; Kinyon Case, Member; Michelle Case, Member; Diania Turner, Member; Kacie Hersh, Member.

Lucky Lion/Dutch Alchemy in Eugene will pay a fine of $4,950 AND serve a two-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension, OR serve a 32-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Dutch Alchemy, LLC; Hilltop Consulting, Inc., Member; Jake Hill, President, Director, Stockholder; Jacqueline Hill, Secretary, Treasurer, Stockholder.

Greenhill Cannabis Farms will surrender its recreational marijuana producer licenseAND each licensee agrees to accept a letter of reprimand for six violations.

Licensees are: Greenhill Cannabis Farms, LLC; Joshua McNamara, Member.

Oregon: OLCC Commission Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OREGON: At its regular monthly meeting on August 20, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved six marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements. The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

  • KALEAFA GRESHAM in Gresham will pay a fine of $7,000 for one violation, consolidating multiple packaging and labeling violations, against its recreational marijuana retailer license.

Licensee is: 1450 SE Orient, LLC; Chris Ostlund, Member; WWMP, LLC, Member; 3 Kids, Inc., Member; John Widmer, President/Stockholder; Julie Widmer, Secretary/Stockholder; Visionary Enterprises, Inc., Member; Rod Maguire, President/Stockholder; Melissa Maguire, Secretary/Stockholder.

KALEAFA will pay a fine of $28,000 for one violation, consolidating multiple packaging and labeling violations, against its recreational marijuana wholesaler license.

Licensees are: WWMP, LLC; 3 Kids, Inc., Member; John Widmer, President/Stockholder; Julie Widmer, Secretary/Stockholder; Visionary Enterprises, Inc., Member; Rod Maguire, President/Stockholder; Melissa Maguire, Secretary/Stockholder.

  • CANNA FLOW FARMS will pay a fine of $6,435 OR serve a 39-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: CannaFlo Farms, LLC; Jeffrey Schlageter, Member.

  • IVY CANNABIS will pay a fine of $4,125 OR serve a 25-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for three violations.

Licensees are: Attikus Enterprises, Inc.; Matthew Schwimmer, President/Stockholder; David Schwimmer, Vice President/Secretary/Stockholder.

  • MODERN FOREST in Lebanon will pay a fine of $14,025 OR serve an 85-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensee is: Modern Forest, LLC; Charles Troxell, Member; Laura Troxell, Member; Sven Roberts, Member; Amber Roberts, Member.

  • BUTTE CREEK FARMS will pay a fine of $14,850 OR serve a 90-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations.

Licensees are: Butte Creek Ranch Farm 1100, LLC; Thor Thompson, Member; Deborah Gadberry, Member; Tyler Lennick, Member.

OREGON: OLCC Commission Takes Step to Continue Curbside Delivery

Begins Process to Ban Additives in Inhalable Cannabis Products

Commissioners Also Approve Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

 

OREGON:  At its regular monthly meeting on June 18, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission moved to extend the ability of licensed marijuana retailers to continue curbside delivery, and took the first step towards adopting rules that would ban non-cannabis additives from inhalable cannabis products.  Commissioners also approved six marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the OLCC, in order to promote social distancing required under the Governor’s Executive Orders, approved a temporary rule allowing licensed marijuana retailers to make “curbside delivery” within the immediate vicinity of their licensed (premises) retail store. That temporary rule expires in September 2020 and cannot be extended with another temporary rule.

Because the duration of the pandemic remains unknown, measures aimed at accommodating social distancing requirements and minimizing person-to-person contact remain critical to protecting public health. The proposed rule provides licensed marijuana retailers flexibility in how they can deliver to consumers at their licensed premises.

In the fall of 2019, a number of Oregonians suffered from the outbreak of vaping-associated lung injury (VALI) linked in part to inhalable cannabis products.  As of March, 2020, Oregon had 23 reported cases of VALI, including two fatalities.  VALI has been tentatively linked to additives combined with cannabis oil.

Commission staff are attempting to address consumer product safety concerns by prohibiting all processed non-cannabis additives from being added to inhalable cannabis products. Non-cannabis vaping additives are used in cannabis vaping products for a variety of purposes, including dilution, flavor, and effects.  However, non-cannabis additives are not necessary to make a vape product work with vaping technology.

Although the additives may be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for ingestion, the same cannot be said for their inhalation. There is no regulatory body that evaluates the safety of these ingredients when inhaled, and additive makers do not disclose all of their ingredients due to trade secret concerns.

The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

  • MAHALO in Hillsboro will pay a fine of $3,795 OR serve a 23-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation.

Licensee is: Mahalo, Inc.; Frankie Powell, President/Secretary/Director/Stockholder.

  • PLANE JANE DISPENSARY in Portland will serve a 30-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension OR pay a fine of $3,795 AND serve a seven-day suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Plane Janes’ LLC; Patricia Wiegele, Member.

  • MYLES MYERS will pay a fine of $750 OR serve a 30-day marijuana worker permit suspension for one violation.

Marijuana Worker Permit #393L5E.

  • GREEN BOX in Portland will pay a fine of $2,640 OR serve a 16-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are: Green Box, LLC; Adrian Wayman, Member; Robert Wayman, Member.

  • PARADISE FOUND in Portland will pay a fine of $10,230 OR serve a 62-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

Licensees are:  JIMO Holdings, LLC; Joseph Cohen, Member; Idan Magal, Member; Arman Daytian, Member/Manager.

  • WINDS OF CHANGE* will surrender its recreational marijuana producer license suspension for eight violations.

Licensees are:  Winds of Change, LLC; James McQuade, Member.

OLCC Will Temporarily Accept Expired State Of Oregon Issued ID

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will allow alcohol and marijuana licensees to accept expired Oregon driver licenses or identification cards that expired, on or after March 8, 2020, as an acceptable form of identification.

This decision aligns with the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement position, as DMV offices are closed because of the COVID-19 public health crisis preventing individuals from renewing their driver’s license or ID cards.

This temporary exception only applies to driver licenses and identification cards issued by the State of Oregon. This exception will remain in place while the Governor’s Executive Order 20-03remains in effect.

This addresses a concern, brought to the attention of the OLCC, faced by former Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cardholders, who have transitioned to the recreational marijuana system, but have driver’s licenses or identification cards that have expired.

On March 20, 2020, The Oregon DMV asked law enforcement to exercise discretion in enforcing violations due to expired credentials and the Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police have agreed to support this “grace period.”

Additional information can be found in the OLCC recreational marijuana program FAQ.

Information about COVID-19 related changes to OLCC rules, program and compliance/enforcement can be found on the OLCC COVID-19 Business Continuity page on the OLCC website.

Oregon Marijuana Retail Licensees Allowed To Provide Curbside Delivery

Temporary Rule Aligns With Governor’s Executive Order to Promote Social Distancing

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved a temporary rule that supports social distancing to promote prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, by allowing licensed marijuana retailers to conduct limited transactions outside their licensed premises.  The action will permit retail licensees to take orders and deliver product from the retail store to a person who is outside of the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.

At an emergency meeting to consider temporary rules impacting the business activity of OLCC licensees in the alcohol and marijuana industry, the Commission took its action to promote social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.  The Commission’s action aligns with the Governor’s Executive Order that prohibits public gatherings of 25 people or more, and encourages people to distance themselves by at least 3 feet while in public.

The temporary rule also increases the amount of flower that OMMP cardholders and caregivers can purchase to 24 ounces per day and no more than 32 ounces per month. This change temporarily increases the daily purchase limit for OMMP cardholders to match their personal possession limit. This rule does not change the total monthly amount a cardholder or caregiver is currently permitted to purchase from an OLCC-licensed retailer.

The temporary action that the Commission has taken is designed to balance the protection of public health while at the same time helping struggling businesses.  Marijuana industry guidance can be found here.

“Every single decision that this agency is making, both for the liquor and the marijuana industries, are there for the consideration of helping people make a living and continue to make a living,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair.

During the period of March 1-18, 2020, OLCC marijuana retailers have seen a 25-30% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.  Retail marijuana stores remain open, but these changes will let them operate in a way that is consistent with the guidance from the Executive Order by decreasing in-store activity.

However the OLCC made it clear that if individual licensees take advantage of the temporary rule by disrupting public safety or public health that the rule could be suspended for the whole industry.

“We’re asking our retailers to make sure to work with the community and local officials so that this can happen in a safe and non-obstructive way to city services, otherwise we’ll need to make changes,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.

Oregon Delivery, Curbside Pickup Rules Eased To Help During COVID-19 Crisis

Applications Prioritized, Temporary Action Eases Delivery Requirements

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission took action designed to ease the economic hardship faced by the hospitality industry as result of public health mandates to help stop the spread of the novel infectious coronavirus (COVID-19).  The Commission’s action relaxes some of the requirements relating to delivery of malt beverages, wine and cider by licensees who qualify for same-day delivery.

At its monthly meeting today the Commission approved emergency rules to enable licensees that currently have an Off-Premises license – or a license that includes Off-Premises Sales Privileges with Same-Day Delivery approval to make delivery of malt beverages, wine and cider to customers at curbside. Home delivery was already permissible, but with the Commission’s action today, the hours for same-day delivery of alcohol have been extended to 2:30 a.m.

Separately, Commission staff have created a streamlined application process for existing Limited On-Premises Sales and Full On-Premises Sales Licensees (restaurants & bars) to start selling malt beverages, wine and cider to go. Qualified licensees can apply for a “90-day Authority To Operate” (ATO) with an Off-Premises Sales license.

“We are looking to help our licensees – economically helping them get every dollar they can, but also administratively by giving them the tools they need,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “These are difficult times for all our industries, and we are looking across our licensee types to do what we can do to help business.”

Curbside delivery includes delivery to a location that is within 100 feet of the boundary of the licensed premises. Licensees can utilize e-commerce operators (beverage & food-delivery app couriers) for delivery provided that the e-commerce providers and the licensees comply with amended delivery rules and the temporary policy which can be located here OAR 845-006-0392 and OAR 845-006-0396.

Licensees seeking to apply for a 90-day ATO with an Off-Premises Sales license can begin the process online here. Statewide there are approximately 5500 eligible licensees for this license; the processing time for each application will vary and a timeframe for granting the ATO cannot be specified.

The Governor of Oregon declared an emergency under ORS 401.165 due to the public health threat posed by the novel infectious coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor has ordered that immediate implementation of social distancing and community mitigation measures necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Governor’s March 17, 2020 Executive Order 20-07 further prohibits on-site consumption of food and drink at restaurants, bars, and similar establishments.   The penalty for failure to comply includes immediate suspension of the license of the licensed premises.

Licensees that have general questions about their license should contact Licensing Services at olcc.liquorlicenseapplication@oregon.gov.

Click here for the COVID-19 Temporary Changes: Off-Premises Sales & Delivery Fact Sheet