Three days after allowing restaurants and bars to provide their customers with curbside pickup and delivery of “malt beverages, wine and cider,” the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has announced they are giving the go-ahead for cannabis dispensaries to provide curbside pickup of weed. From the OLCC’s press release:
Today 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.
Their temporary rule also increases the amount of flower an Oregon Medical Marijuana Patient (OMMP) can purchase, up to 24 ounces per day with a monthly limit of 32 ounces per month.
This temporary rule change could signal that dispensaries might be allowed to fall under the designation of “essential businesses”—a term used to indicate which businesses will be allowed to continue operating if Gov. Kate Brown enacts a “stay home” executive order, which many reports indicate she is expected to do today following intense pressure from medical professionals, Oregon mayors, and county officials. (It also doesn’t hurt that dispensaries brought the state $102 million in tax revenue for the 2019 fiscal year alone.)
The press release also notes that Oregon cannabis dispensaries have gotten a boost for the first two weeks of March, noting a 25-30 percent increase in sales over this time last year.
While the temporary relaxation of rules will be seen as a godsend to many local dispensaries, the OLCC also offers a not-so-thinly veiled warning:
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…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.