Temporary rule tied to COVID-19 virus, restrictions
PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved a temporary rule Sunday 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, OLCC said.
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.