MEDFORD, Ore. – The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is commenting on a series of now-dead ballot measures that would have allowed Oregonians to vote on privatizing liquor sales. They say those measures would have given too much control to grocery stores.
Political group Oregonians for Competition retracted all eight versions of a ballot measure that would have allowed voters to decide on private liquor distribution and sale of liquor in grocery store chains.
Those ballot measures were supported by grocers.
OLCC Chairman Rob Patridge says they had been following the measures closely and, now that they have been dropped, it will allow for more collaboration with legislators.
“It would have been the one-off grocer solution without much collaboration, and the grocers basically forcing liquor manufacturers and others to the table,” said Patridge. “What this allows us to do is have a more thoughtful and reasonable conversation.”
Right now 248 stores sell liquor in the state. Patridge says he predict the state will adopt a hybrid model, keeping their current state-run distribution system intact but still opening up more retail availability in grocery stores.