Tag Archives: OLCC

Last OLCC Retail Innovations Meeting: Privatization Will Create Winners and Losers

I attended the last of the OLCC’s Retail Innovations meetings on Friday January 24, 2014 and privatization was not surprisingly the main topic of discussion. The meeting took place just following the OLCC’s Commission Meeting at their main offices. Importantly, it was the first meeting since the Northwest Grocery Association filed the first of many initiatives to privatize the OLCC. Since the filing of the initiatives, the OLCC helped put forward a draft piece of legislation to modernize the OLCC and to be a counter to the NWGA’s many initiatives. Given the many divergent interests of the many stakeholders, almost everyone has found something that they don’t like about the proposed legislation. We can anticipate fixes in the near future. You can take a look at the draft legislation here. To learn more about the OLCC to put this into context, you can view a recent powerpoint presentation given to the Senate Business and Transportation Committee and the House Business and Labor Committee here.

An important theme for the meeting was that any changes to the OLCC, whether through legislation or initiative, would result in winners and losers. Owners of existing liquor stores may have the most to lose, but Oregon’s craft distilling industry, Oregon cities and counties dependent on OLCC revenues (and the taxpayers that benefit from their services), and certain industry members also have a lot at stake. Consumers and Oregon’s restaurants and bars may also see a price increase.

More to come …

The Northwest Grocery Association Filed Initiatives to Privatize the OLCC

We live in interesting times. Following the privatization of the Washington State Liquor Control Board in 2011/2012, many have anticipated that a similar initiative would follow in Oregon. The OLCC itself anticipated such a move and tried to provide an alternative through a Retail Innovations Task Force that it initiated. The Task Force brought together the stake holders to discuss what privatization and/or modernization would look like. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the OLCC recently asked for more time to more fully develop the concepts.

Today, the Northwest Grocery Association filed five versions of an initiative to privatize the OLCC. I will be reviewing those shortly and posting with more details in the near future.

You can access copies of the initiatives here.

Marvin Revoal was Sworn In as Fifth OLCC Commissioner at the Thursday Commission Meeting.

Governor Kizthaber recently appointed Marvin Revoal to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission Board of Directors and the Senate confirmed the appointment. Marvin was sworn in today at the OLCC’s Commission meeting.

The OLCC has been operating with only four commissioners for some time now. The 4th Congressional District position has been vacant, but is now filled.

From his LinkedIn profile, Marvin Revoal is a senior principal at Pacific Benefit Planners. He leads the company as it designs and manages self funded and fully insured employee benefits, worker compensation and general liability services for small and mid sized companies. He has a strong background in civic engagement and leadership, including serving as the Chairman of the Board for the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. He also studied criminology at the University of Missouri–go Tigers!

Marvin looks like he could be a strong contributor to the Commission.

Portland Fall 2013 Bar Summit: Highlights

The Portland Police, Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the Fire Marshall’s Office, the OLCC, and Portland bar and club owners gathered downtown on the afternoon of Wednesday September 25th to discuss issues of mutual concern.

Fire Marshall.  The Fire Marshall talked about how important it is for bar owners to know the occupancy limits of their premises, including both the interior and exterior areas.  He stressed the importance of proactive crowd management and monitoring of occupancy throughout the evening.  The Fire Marshall’s office will continue to inspect Portland area businesses for compliance with their occupancy limits and other violations, such as blocking entrances or exits.  The Fire Marshall expects the security staff working the door to have accurate information about the patron head count and to convey that information upon request.  In addition, the fire department staff are well trained in conducting patron counts by walking through the premises.  Although not mentioned by the Fire Marshall, another potential source of information are photos and pictures of the premises posted on the web showing overcrowding.  Upon discovery of a potential violation, the Fire Marshall’s office has a variety of options, ranging from informal warnings, citations, and/or closing the premises for the evening if there is a significant public safety concern.

Portland Police.  The Portland Police started off by thanking Portland area bar owners for stepping up and improving their screening procedures at the door, but cautioned them not to let up and to stay focused on keeping weapons, drugs, alcohol, and other contrabrand from getting into their businesses.

The Portland Police followed up with an additional caution to security professionals regarding the requirements for taking a citizen into custody.  They emphasized that even DPSST certified professionals had only limited powers to detain or take a citizen into custody.  One important requirement is that the security guard must be a first hand witness to the alleged activity to take someone into custody.  A security guard who unlawfully takes a citizen into custody may be charged with kidnapping or other criminal offenses.

The Portland Police concluding by showing the many ways in which patrons may try to smuggle contraband into a club, including fake cameras, cell phones, bags, purses, clothing, jewelry and more.  While the Police recognize that security cannot find everything, they stressed the importance of thorough screening procedures, their consistent application, and keeping up with current trends.

Multnomah County.  Multnomah County announced new programs aimed at reducing bing drinking and to discourage driving while intoxicated.  They were looking for bars willing to participate in newly developed training programs.

City of Portland Noise Office.  The Noise Office recently moved from the Bureau of Development Services to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.  The Noise Control officer talked about recent citations and how to decrease the probability of being issued a citation, such as by keeping doors and windows closed and consulting with an acoustical professional.  That being said, the Noise Control officer sent a strong message that enforcement would increase going forward.

Change to Age Verification Equipment Rule Effective October 1, 2013

Oregon licensees may elect to purchase age verification equipment (“AVE”) instead of receiving the standard sanction for a first or second Category III or III(a) under certain circumstances.  The licensee must purchase and use the AVE in order to qualify for the reduced sanction.  The change clarifies the definition of “equipment” and does not represent a material change in OLCC practice.

For more information about the rule change, click here.

Proposed Changes to the OLCC’s Service Permit Denial Criteria

The OLCC is in the process of clarifying and streamlining its rules that specify when the agency has a basis to deny a service permit application and when “good cause” exists for overcoming such denial criteria. The proposed changes are consistent with the OLCC’s regulatory goals and should not be unduly burdensome to future service permit applicants.

The denial criteria would be broken into three general categories:

1. Felony Convictions.
2. DUII’s and Liquor Law Violations.
3. Habit of Using to Excess.

Felony convictions that could serve as a basis for denying a service permit application include convictions involving drugs, violence, or driving while suspended. The rule is drafted broadly to include such convictions under both Oregon and non-Oregon law. The Commission would look back two years for individuals with a single felony conviction and four years for multiple felony convictions from the date that the Commission receives an application.

DUII and liquor law violations include both felony and misdemeanor convictions. The rule is drafted broadly to include convictions related to or involving alcohol generally. The Commission would deny an application if the applicant had two or more such violations provided that at least two of them occurred within four years of the date that the application was received.

The Commission will determine that the applicant has a “habit of using to excess” based on a number of factors. The Commission will deny a service permit if the applicant has two or more drug or DUII convictions, or diversions, provided that at least two of incidents occurred within five years of the date the Commission received the application and at least one occurred within the last 12 months.

“Good Cause” largely would turn on whether the applicant had a drug or alcohol addiction problem at the time of the incidents that are the basis for the denial criteria. The applicant would have the burden of establishing good cause by providing the following:

1. Evidence of drug or alcohol addiction problems;
2. Sworn statement that the applicant has not used alcohol or controlled substances in the preceding 12 months;
3. Written proof of completion of a treatment program and continuing compliance with any treatment recommendations; and
4. Evidence that the applicant is complying with any probation requirements (if applicable).

To learn more about the rule making, click here.