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.

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.