This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Antonija Krizanac.

Since the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session convened on February 1, 2017, the Legislature has introduced a variety of bills that impact the Oregon alcohol and beverage industry. Out of the countless proposed bills, five have already been signed by the Governor and will go into effect this year or early 2018 and may impact your business. Following is a summary of those bills.

House Bill 2150: Relating to electronic administration of alcoholic beverage tax provisions

House Bill 2150 requires the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) to allow manufacturers or distributors of wine, cider, or malt beverages to file by electronic means:

  • A statement of the quantity of wine, cider, or malt beverages produced, purchased, or received, and
  • Payment of privilege taxes on such activities.

This alters the current filing and payment system, which is done on paper. The measure will apply to statements or privilege taxes due on or after July 1, 2019.

Effective date: January 1, 2018
Link to enrolled bill:

House Bill 2159: Relating to cider

The bill modifies the definition of cider in order to increase the allowable alcohol by volume limit from 7% to 8.5%. By raising the limit, Oregon cider producers will be able to match the federal designation and will only have to make one set of calculations when completing tax filings for both federal and Oregon taxes.

Effective date: January 1, 2018
Link to enrolled bill:

House Bill 2160: Relating to brewery-public house licensees

Currently, the OLCC issues numerous types of licenses based upon the business model of the licensee. One of these, the brewery-public house license, permits the holder to manufacture and sell malt beverages, including the products manufactured by the licensee, as well as sell wine and cider for consumption on or off premises, at the location of manufacture plus one additional location.

House Bill 2160 alters the current law by authorizing brewery-public house licensees to hold and sell their products at two locations in addition to their site of product manufacture.

Effective date: January 1, 2018
Link to enrolled bill:

Senate Bill 677: Relating to establishment of cider businesses

This measure is modeled on the winery statute, Senate Bill 841 (2013), and it establishes a cider business as a permitted use on land zoned for exclusive farm use or mixed farm and forest use provided that the cider business meets specified criteria related to cider production and source of apples or pears. The measure also allows a cider business to hold agritourism or other commercial events at its location for up to 18 days per calendar year.

Effective date: January 1, 2018
Link to enrolled bill:

Senate Bill 1044: Relating to alcohol; and declaring an emergency

Senate Bill 1044 makes a number of changes to current laws governing alcohol in Oregon. The bill:

  • Clarifies that the OLCC’s authority to investigate or discipline a license or permit holder does not end with the lapse, suspension, or revocation of that license or permit;
  • Increases the fee for a server’s permit from $10 to $50, but lifts the requirement that the permit application be endorsed by another alcohol licensee or OLCC employee;
  • Exempts the sale of distilled liquor and the OLCC’s appointment of distillery retail outlet agents from public contracting laws;
  • Allows manufacture and sale of 10% alcohol content by volume for higher distilled beverages, down from the current 17% minimum alcohol by volume;
  • Expands the types of current licensees affiliated with brewers producing more than 200,000 barrels of malt beverages annually that may apply for full on-premises sales licenses; and
  • Allows an identification card issued by a federal territory or a federally recognized Indian tribe to be used as proof of age to purchase alcohol.

Effective date: June 29, 2017
Link to enrolled bill: