OLCC drops ‘control’ from name, adds ‘cannabis’

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The OLCC became the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission on Monday, dropping the word “Control” that had defined the agency’s original post-Prohibition mission.

Previously referred to as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the agency began regulating recreational marijuana after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

This change comes five years after voters passed Measure 91 which directed the agency to establish a framework for regulating Oregon’s recreational marijuana marketplace.

While the change updates the agency’s name to better reflect its mission, the OLCC acronym will remain the same.

“The industries we regulate matter, they matter a lot to the state of Oregon’s economy,” said Paul Rosenbaum, Chair of the Oregon Liquor & Cannabis Commission. “The cannabis industry in Oregon has become a billion dollar business and changing our agency name reflects our role in generating revenue to fund state programs.”

Newly issued alcohol and marijuana licenses, and alcohol server and marijuana worker permits, will be modified to include the new name and logo.

Existing versions of these official documents continue to be valid with the agency’s previous name and logo, and will be replaced when the licensee or permit holder renews them.

The OLCC will make minor public facing adjustments to reflect the name change; the modifications will have a minimal cost.

The OLCC was originally created in 1933, in the wake of national alcohol prohibition being repealed by the adoption of the 21st amendment to the US Constitution.

At that time, America was laboring to rise out of the “Great Depression” and the world stage was being set for the start of World War II. In 1933, Oregon’s Liquor Control Act became law and directed the OLCC to sell distilled spirits and to license businesses to sell beer and wine.

Agency name changes occur as their mission evolves; however, it’s not common.

According to information provided by the State Library of Oregon, during the past 30 years there have been about 10 Oregon agencies that have changed their name. The most recent change was when the State Library itself changed its name in 2017 to clarify that it wasn’t affiliated with Oregon State University.

Now 88 years later, the OLCCs mission has grown to include managing compliance with Oregon’s Bottle Bill, marijuana regulation and oversight of specific aspects of the state’s hemp market.

Licensees and others doing business with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission should still make their payments out to the “OLCC.”

So even as the OLCC continues to evolve to better serve Oregon, the acronym will remain the same.

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