These measures have been enacted to limit the risk of coronavirus exposure and transmission through cannabis purchases. In order to allow consumers to social distance and stay high at the same time, dispensaries will now be allowed to treat deliveries to within 150 feet of their retail location as if they were onsite sales.
A recently released Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) document outlines temporary guidance for retail marijuana sales. The document, “COVID-19 Public Health Response
Marijuana rule temporary changes” amends current rules restricting how cannabis sales can be delivered to recreational and medical customers, giving retail facilities greater leeway. It also increases the daily limit on purchases by OMMP cardholders.
Under normal circumstances, any cannabis delivered away from the retail counter is, under OLCC rules, treated as a delivery. Delivery sales are differently regulated and require more paperwork than in-store sales. By waiving this rule, the OLCC is allowing dispensaries to come to meet customers at the door of the store or at their car on the street or parking lot. To qualify for this waiver, customers must make their order before coming to the store, either through an app, website, or phone. They must also show their ID to the store staff at the time of sale. Dispensaries are not required to make such deliveries under the new rule but are permitted to do so.
This rule change comes in the wake of an open letter to the OLCC requesting temporary amendments to cannabis regulations to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus. The letter, circulated by Green Light Law Group with over 1,400 co-signees, requested many of these changes.
While we salute the OLCC for making changes that will help keep marijuana consumers safe, we would also like to see additional measures, outlined in the Green Light letter, adopted. Namely, we suggest a temporary easing on home delivery requirements to allow retailers with delivery applications pending before the OLCC to immediately begin delivery as they wait for formal approval of their applications.