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

OLCC Action on Governor Brown’s Vaping Executive Order

Commission Will Meet to Pass Emergency Temporary Rules

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will meet next week to act on the Executive Order on the Vaping Public Health Crisis issued today by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.  The Governor’s order directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the OLCC to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, as well as other sources or additives that public health investigators link to the vaping-related illness.

Governor Brown emphasized protecting Oregonians’ health as the primary focus of her action, by removing possibly unsafe products from the marketplace, discouraging vaping by children and youth, and reducing human exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals.

Brown further encouraged Oregonians to stop using vaping products until more is known about the cause of the respiratory illness.  The Governor also called on the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to step in to regulate flavored vaping products and additives.

The order directs both agencies to enact a 180-day ban on all flavored vaping products and to develop plans within 90 days to address consumer warnings about the dangers of vaping, vaping product ingredient disclosure, product safety tests of vaping equipment, improved health care provider reporting of vaping lung injuries to OHA, and creating a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products.

The Governor is also asking the agencies to develop proposals for long-term solutions to present to the Legislature during the 2020 legislative session.  Governor Brown will include the OLCC in a Vaping Public Health Workgroup tasked with studying the vaping illness crisis and making recommendations to the legislature.

“We will act quickly on the Governor’s directive to address this growing public health crisis,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.  “The OLCC will utilize the real-time findings of public health officials here in Oregon and across the country as they continue their investigation into the cause of the vaping respiratory illness outbreak.  We’ll let scientists guide us as we contemplate taking additional actions with a measured approach.”

The OLCC Commission will act on temporary rules proposing to ban licensed marijuana retailers from selling any cannabinoid (marijuana and hemp) products containing any flavor, including non-marijuana terpenes.  In this interpretation the OLCC does not include terpenes derived from marijuana as a “flavor.”  The temporary rule will also prohibit licensed processors from manufacturing or distributing those same products.

After the Commission acts the OLCC will provide further guidance to licensees about taking inventory of flavored or non-marijuana terpene-containing products, removing them from retail store shelves and setting those items aside.  The OLCC will make compliance checks at licensed processors and retailers to make sure affected product is not being offered for sale.

OLCC Provides Guidance To Recreational Marijuana Licensees On Vaping Illness Outbreak

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission provided its recreational marijuana licensees with guidance regarding the inventory and sale of marijuana products that public health officials are scrutinizing in their investigation of the national vaping related respiratory illness outbreak.

In a letter to licensees Executive Director Steve Marks asked processors and retailers to take a series of voluntary steps to review vaping devices and vaping cartridges containing additives that may be of public concern.

The actions are cautionary steps, in the absence of conclusive evidence, as public health investigators across the country attempt to zero in on a cause(s) for the respiratory illness.

Marks is asking licensed processors to report any previously undisclosed additives in their marijuana products, including Vitamin E oil, “tocopheryl acetate” or “alpha-tocopherol.”

Additionally licensed retailers are encouraged to review their vaping products, and if they think product labels lack clarity consider asking product manufacturers to provide additional information.

The OLCC is also asking retailers to post a consumer information bulletin based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A copy of the letter to licensees can be found on the OLCC recreational marijuana website.

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Seeks Input On Recreational Marijuana Regulations

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will hold several Rules Advisory Committees (RACs) beginning in late summer and continuing into this fall. The purpose of an advisory committee is to increase the public’s involvement in the drafting and development of administrative rules.

These meetings will focus on reviewing legislative changes made during the 2019 session and address other issues that have arisen within the licensed and regulated marijuana industry.

In order to fill the RACs, the Commission is asking licensees, partner agencies and businesses associated with the cannabis industry, to apply to be on the committees.

The Commission will use this recruitment process to obtain fresh perspectives on both the condition of the industry’s operating environment and the current state of the rules and regulatory process.

To apply to be considered for appointment to the committee please fill out this survey by August 1, 2019.

The Commission will review all responses and fill the membership of the committees in a manner that best represents the industry and reflects a wide range of perspectives on industry issues.

Following the completion of the committee work, the Commission will hold both a Public Hearing and provide a subsequent two-week comment period in order to acquire additional perspectives on the proposed changes considered by the committees.

Stakeholders and other interested parties will be notified about all committee and hearing dates, and the information will be published on the Commissions’ website.

Click here to apply for the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program RACs.

OLCC Begins Listening Tour With Marijuana Industry

Bend Session Set for Tuesday July 9th

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission launches its first in a series of listening sessions with the marijuana industry this Tuesday, July 9, 2019 in Bend.

The listening session will be held at the Riverhouse Convention Center from 6 PM to 9 PM.

The listening sessions provide an informal setting for Commissioners to learn about the issues facing the marijuana industry.

In particular the Commission wants to hear from the marijuana industry on: the Producer License moratorium (Senate Bill 218), exporting, social consumption, and changes to the Marijuana Program.

The OLCC will hold four additional  listening sessions for the marijuana industry in:  Ashland on July 17, Eugene on July 30, Ontario on August 6, and in Portland on August 12.

The Commission will also hold its regularly scheduled July 18, 2019 meeting at Southern Oregon University.

Licensees and stakeholders can register to attend the listening tour sessions on the OLCC Eventbrite page at: www.bit.ly/2AGaYUS

Marijuana Industry Listening Sessions

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – 6 to 9 PM

Riverhouse on the Deschutes Convention Center

2850 NW Rippling River Court, Bend 97703

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – 6 to 9 p.m.

Southern Oregon University – Stevenson Union

1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland 97520

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 – 6 to 9 p.m.

Lane Community College – Center for Meeting and Learning

4000 E. 30th Avenue, Eugene 97405

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 – 6 to 9 p.m.

Four Rivers Cultural Center

675 SW 5th Avenue, Ontario 97914

Monday, August 12, 2019 – 6 to 9 p.m.

OLCC Headquarters – Commission Meeting Room

9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland 97222

Register for the OLCC marijuana industry listening tour on the OLCC Eventbrite page at: www.bit.ly/2AGaYUS

OLCC Seeks Applicants For Metrc User Group To Provide Input On Cannabis Tracking System

OLCC Seeks Applicants for Metrc User Group

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is seeking licensees, medical registrants tracked in the Cannabis Tracking System, and employees of licensees or registrants for vacant seats on its Metrc User Group.

What is the Metrc User Group?

The purpose of this group is to identify, prioritize, and vote on enhancements to the OLCC’s Cannabis Tracking System (Metrc). The Metrc User Group is the representative body of licensees, medical registrants, and individuals using the Cannabis Tracking System. The Metrc User Group has been meeting since June 2017 and meets 3 to 4 times annually at the OLCC Headquarters In Milwaukie.

What is this application for?

The Metrc User Group has vacant seats; this application is to apply for one of the vacancies. As many as 20 to 30 new Metrc User Group members will be selected from this application pool to be a member of the Metrc User Group and be asked to attend the next meeting in January or February 2019 as a participant.

Anyone who would like to serve on the Metrc User Group may submit an application https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7QBZJNF. To be considered, applications must be received by December 31, 2018 at 11:59 PM.

OLCC Commission Moves to Revoke Marijuana Wholesaler License; Temporarily Reduces Daily Purchase Limits for OMMP Cardholders

Commission Approves Other Marijuana Licensees Stipulated Settlements

OREGON. – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission today rejected a staff recommended stipulated settlement for a licensed marijuana wholesaler charged with ten violations of OLCC marijuana rules. The Commission decided the licensee’s violations were bad enough that a license suspension or fine would not result in the licensee taking the necessary corrective action to come into compliance.

The OLCC Commission voted down the proposed settlement for wholesaler Black Market Distribution LLC., and directed staff to instead proceed through the state’s administrative hearing process to seek revocation of the wholesaler’s license. Black Market Distribution’s case will be referred to Oregon’s Office of Administrative Hearings. Under the staff proposed settlement Black Market Distribution could have opted to serve either a 99- day license suspension or pay a $16,335 civil penalty. The Commission made it clear to OLCC staff that it wants more tools to combat licensees with more serious violations.

“We want good compliant, law-abiding partners as OLCC marijuana licensees,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair. “We know the cannabis industry is watching what we’re doing, and believe me, we’ve taken notice. We’re going to find a way to strengthen our action against rule breakers, using what we already have on the books, and if need be working with the legislature to tighten things up further.”

The Commission also reduced the daily purchase limits of usable marijuana (flower) by Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) cardholders because of suspicious purchase activity detected in the state’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS.) OMMP cardholders will now be limited to a daily purchase of one ounce of marijuana flower, the same daily amount allowed for recreational marijuana users; the previous limit was 24 ounces.

Today’s action on OMMP purchase limits is designed to prevent potential diversion of usable marijuana into the secondary illegal market. The OLCC will continue to investigate the suspicious activity and will work with the Oregon Health Authority, which has authority over the OMMP, and if necessary forward investigative findings to law enforcement. The temporary rule takes effect on Friday, August 24, 2018, requiring OLCC licensed marijuana retailers to comply with the new purchase limits immediately. The temporary rule expires in six months and could be modified or rescinded after the investigations are completed.

“The Cannabis Tracking System worked as it should enabling us to uncover this suspicious activity,” said Steven Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “When we detect possible illegal activity we need to take immediate steps to deter it from happening further, and that’s why the Commission moved quickly.”

In other action the Commissioners of the OLCC approved the following fines and/or marijuana license suspensions based on stipulated settlements:

Cannabliss & Co. in Portland, will pay a fine of $4,950 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for one violation. The violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, or representatives failing to keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days. Licensee is 22nd and Burn, LLC; Matthew Price, President/Secretary/Stockholder; High Street Capital Partners, LLC, Stockholder; High Street Capital Partners Mgmt., LLC, Stockholder; Kevin Murphy, Managing Member, Melvin Yellin, Managing Member, Devin Binford, Managing Member.

Hi Cascade in Veneta; will pay a fine of $6,105 or serve a 37-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations. The first violation is for the licensee or its employees, agents, servants, or representatives failing to keep backup recordings of video surveillance recordings off-site and in real time for the surveillance room and surveillance area, for a minimum of 30 days. The second violation is for the licensee or licensee’s employees, agents, servants, or representatives failing to immediately notify the Commission of any equipment failure or system outage lasting 30 minutes or more. Licensee is Hi Cascade #3, LLC;

Cascade Retail Services #2, LLC, Member; Oregon Commercial Holdings #2, LLC, Member.; JH Investment Holdings, LLC, Member; Pure Life Investment Group, LLC, Member; Jonathan Hogander, Member; Joseph Martin, Member. Shadowbox Farms; will pay a fine of $9,900 or serve a 30-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for two violations. The first violation is for the licensee operating other than as the license permits in OAR 845-025-2020(1) when it transported or delivered usable marijuana or whole, non-living marijuana plants to the licensed premises of a marijuana producer. to ensure that all marijuana items on the retail premises were kept in a safe or vault. The second violation is for the licensee or the licensee’s employees, agents, servants or representatives failing to keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days. Licensee is Rogue Valley Group, LLC, Ariel Jurmann, Member, Daniel Jurmann, Member, Artemis Group, LLC., Member, Bryan Bundy, Member, Joseph Bundy, Member, Megan Bundy, Member.

Shadowbox Farms; will pay a fine of $12,210 or serve a 74-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for four violations. The first violation is for the licensee operating other than as the license permits in OAR 845-025-2020(1) when it received usable marijuana or whole, non-living marijuana plants from a marijuana producer. to keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days. The second violation is for the licensee or the licensee’s employees, agents, servants or representatives failing to keep surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 calendar days. The third violation is for the licensee making physical changes to the licensed premises that materially or substantially altered the licensed premises or the usage of the licensed premises from the plans originally approved by the Commission without the Commission’s prior approval when it used two unapproved freezer Conex boxes to store marijuana items. The fourth violation is for the licensee failing to have a fully operational security alarm system, activated at all times when the licensed premises is closed for business, when it failed to have an alarm system that could detect unauthorized access to limited access areas (two freezer Conex boxes) where mature plants or usable marijuana was present. Licensee is Rogue Valley Group, LLC, Ariel Jurmann, Member, Daniel Jurmann, Member, Artemis Group, LLC., Member, Bryan Bundy, Member, Joseph Bundy, Member, Megan Bundy, Member.

BZS Resources; will pay a fine of $7,260 or serve a 44-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension for three violations. The first violation is for the licensee’s employees, agents, servants or representatives making physical changes to the licensed premises that materially or substantially altered the licensed premises or the usage of the licensed premises from the plans originally approved by the Commission without the Commission’s prior written approval when new structures were added to the licensed premises, including a barn, greenhouse, Conex structure, additional surveillance cameras, a safe and a gate for contractor access. The second violation is for the licensee licensee’s employees, agents, servants, or representatives failing to have cameras that continuously record, 24 hours a day in all areas where mature marijuana plants, immature marijuana plants, useable marijuana, cannabinoid concentrates, extracts or products are present, when marijuana plants and marijuana items were stored in unapproved structures that failed to have camera coverage. The third violation is for the licensee or licensee’s employees, agents, servants, or representatives failing to keep all usable marijuana, cut and drying mature marijuana plants, cannabinoid concentrates, extracts or products on the licensed premises of a licensee in a locked, enclosed area within the licensed premises that is secured with at a minimum, a properly installed steel door with a steel frame, and a commercial grade, non-residential door lock. Licensee is Paydaze, LLC, Scott Langfield, Managing Member; dba BZS Resources, Zach Gary, Managing Member.