Commission Will Meet to Pass Emergency Temporary Rules
Portland, OR — 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.