Gov. Kate Brown Names First Cannabis Industry Representative to Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Matt Maletis' appointment reflects the expanding focus of the powerful state agency.

When Gov. Kate Brown last week released her new list of appointments to boards and commissions, much of the focus was on two senior state senators moving on to new positions.

But just as she acted to renew the Senate chamber, Brown also proposed new blood for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, whose regulatory authority expanded to recreational cannabis after voters approved Measure 91 in 2014.

Brown last appointed Matt Maletis to the OLCC, which until now has not had people with experience in the cannabis business among its commissioners.

Related: We ask Oregon's new pot overlords: What's your experience with marijuana?

Maletis comes from a family that dominated beer distribution in Oregon for decades. His father and an uncle sold their share of a beer distributorship and spent the past decade trying to develop Langdon Farms, a golf course just south of the Urban Growth Boundary. Matt Maletis has been working to promote marijuana farming on land his family owns near Langdon Farms.

Maletis has been active in the food and beverage industry, including investments in Brasserie Monmartre and the Agency Ultra Sport Lounge, and he has served on three cannabis advisory panels for the OLCC.

Now, pending Senate approval next month, Maletis will replace longtime commission member Bob Rice, the owner of Portland's Virginia Cafe.

"I feel that with my strong background in the sale of alcoholic beverage coupled with added benefit of my knowledge of the cannabis industry that there is no better place for me to put my unique combination of experience and knowledge to work to benefit the industries and the state that I care so much about," Maletis said in a statement.