The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates all sales of distilled spirits in the state, is proposing two significant rule changes. One would allow far more liquor stores to become "non-exclusive," meaning they would be allowed to expand into beer and wine sales.The OLCC is running scared because last
The other, which could have even broader consequences, would allow corporations to become liquor agents. The idea is to make it easier for big grocery chains, such as Safeway or Fred Meyer, to open "store within a store" liquor outlets. Buy the cantaloupe in the produce section, then head over to a separate area for the vodka or gin to make fruity martinis.
As I have said many times in the past, the OLCC is a terrible agency. It's innately conflicted, having been put in place out of a post-prohibition way to enact moral codes on a drinking public while being responsible for liquor laws. Their rules and rulings over the past few years have been legendarily bad. But, like any entity, they have a sense of self-preservation, and the Washington law has them scrambling. As always, I'll end with my usual plea: scrap the OLCC and join the 21st century.