Published: MAY 2023

HB 3090 Forfeits Millions in Cigarette Tax Revenues while Youth Tobacco Use is at an All Time Low

House Bill 3090 proposes to eliminate the sale of any flavored tobacco product in Oregon. The bill is currently held in the Joint Committee on Ways & Means.

Proponents of the bill declare passage of the bill is aimed at reducing tobacco use by youth. However, the attached document illustrates the decline in Youth Tobacco Use during recent years.

Further, the attachment illustrates the estimated decline in tobacco tax revenue for the State, if HB 3090 is approved by the Legislature.

Current Estimates of the Revenue Impact of the Proposed Ban (PDF)

Published: MaRch 2023

Voters See Other Issues As Far More Important For The State To Focus On Than A Tobacco Flavor Ban

Voters in Oregon are clear in their belief that the state government should be prioritizing other issues over a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products to adults 21 years or older. Just 17% want the state to prioritize a ban on flavored tobacco products, compared with a massive 80% who say other issues are more important. Not only is this 63-point margin significant, it is also bi-partisan, with a clear majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans encouraging the state to focus on other issues.

In fact, less than 1% say tobacco use is an important issue for leaders to be focused on. Instead of focusing on limiting products that are currently legal to adults (21+) in Oregon, voters would rather see state lawmakers prioritize the high cost of living in the state (57%) and homelessness (41%).

Read Full Survey Memo (PDF):

Full Survey Memo from Axis Research

Published: March 2022

Synthetic Nicotine Loophole to Close

New Federal legislation, signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022, has given the U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulatory authority over synthetic nicotine products, effectively closing the so-called “synthetic nicotine loophole.” This law becomes effective on April 15, 2022, and manufacturers will have until May 14, 2022 to either submit a Premarket Tobacco Product Application (PMTA) or stop marketing their products. Manufacturers that submit a PMTA by the deadline can continue marketing their products until July 13, 2022, after which time the products must be removed from retail, unless the FDA has issued a marketing granted order.

To avoid liability, retailers and distributors should act now to understand whether their manufacturers plan to submit a PMTA, and to be prepared to remove from their shelves any synthetic nicotine products that have not been the subject of a PMTA submitted by the May 14, 2022 deadline.

For More Information:

Published: March 2022

Privatization Petition #35 certified to Collect Signatures

On March 30, 2022, the Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision to approve the Certified Ballot Title for Petition #35, the Customer Choice & Convenience Act. This petition would allow large retail stores eligible to sell beer, wine, and cider to be licensed to sell bottled liquor and low-proof spirit beverage at premises greater than 4,000 square feet. The proponents may now begin the signature gathering process.

A total of 112,020 signatures are required by July 8, 2022 in order for the measure to be placed on the November ballot. Proponents will need approximately 20-25% more than the required number to assure that sufficient valid signatures are obtained.

For the complete text of IP#35 (PDF)

Published: March 2022

ONSA Highlights from 2022 Session

In spite of a closed Capitol building and the fact that all legislative hearings were held virtually, ONSA was very active in monitoring legislative proposals and advocating on behalf of ONSA’s members. Following are a few of the bills of interest to ONSA members:

HB 4101 proposed to increase the distance from places of employment within which a person may not smoke or use an inhalant. Distance would have increased from current 10 feet to 25 feet. Strong support was provided by the health care industry; however, ONSA explained that it was also a safety issue for small stores, where a single employee working a night shift would be required to take a break and if the employee wished to smoke, he/she would need to cross the street to be 25 feet from the door of his place of employment. Amendments were included to exempt a place of employment holding a license from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

The amended bill passed the House but remained in the Senate Health Care Committee upon adjournment.

HB 4151 again brought the hotly debated issue of self-service gas dispensing before the Legislature. Oregon’s prohibition on self-service gas dispensing at retail stations has been in place since 1951. In 2015 a provision was approved allowing fueling stations in counties with populations less than 40,000 to permit non-employees to dispense fuel between the hours of 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Then, in 2017 the Legislature eliminated the time-of-day restriction and limited the applicability only to small counties in eastern Oregon. HB 4151 was amended to allow for self-service dispensing of gas at up to half of a station’s available pumps and was referred to Ways and Means Committee. The fact the bill lingered in Ways and Means and did not reach a vote simply means the issue can be expected to resurface in 2023.

Regarding the Bottle Bill:

As approved by the 2022 Legislative Assembly, SB 1520 will change the requirements for distributors that do not participate in a distributor cooperative and require, beginning July 1, 2025, the payment of a refund value of 10 cents for wine in cans. With the passage of SB 1520, a distributor not participating in distributor cooperative that sold more than 500,000 beverages in the state within the previous calendar year would be required to establish a program to provide redemption services comparable to services provided by distributive cooperative in the state. In addition, a distributor not participating in distributor cooperative that sold more than 500,000 beverages would be required to annually pay $3,000 for each full-service redemption center in the state to OLCC.

Published: June 2020

Mandatory Beverage Container Redemption Begins

Mandatory beverage container redemption begins two weeks past date your county enters Phase 1 of reopening.

As counties re-open, the OLCC will begin enforcing the requirement for retailers to accept empty beverage container returns and will link enforcement to the phase of a county. Specifically, two weeks after a coupty enters Phase 1 of the Governor’s plan to reopen Oregon, retailers in that county will be required to resume accepting empty beverage containers from customers. This includes accepting containers both through reverse vending machines and by hand count. The number of empty containers retailers are required to accept remains the same as prior to the non-enforcement, either 24, 50, or 144 containers per person per day.

While in Phase 1, stores may limit return hours from 8 AM to 6 PM except for 24-hour stores, which may limit their return hours from 7 AM to 11 PM. Two weeks after a county enters Phase 2, retailers in that county must extend their hours to accept returns from 8 AM to 8 PM except for 24-hour stores, which may continue to limit their return hours from 7 AM to 11 PM.

If a county moves back to the “baseline” phase, OLCC will again suspend enforcement until the county re-enters Phase 1.

Useful Links & Resources

Oregon Legislative Information System
For information about current and previous legislative sessions, bills, and committees

NACS – The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing
For national news, advocacy efforts, industry research, training and development for the convenience store industry

Oregon’s Bottle Bill

We Card Web Center
For signage and resource materials to assist with Under 21 compliance

Oregon Liquor Licensing
Applying for a license, educational materials, laws & regulations, and OLCC public meetings

Oregon’s Responsible Vendor Program
Retail licensees who join the Responsible Vendor Program and maintain all of its requirements are eligible for reduced sanctions, should their employees in advertently sell alcohol to a minor or fail to properly check ID.

Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries
Technical Assistance for Employers on employment law topics