If Oregon Holds a Special Session, It May Approve Cocktails to Go

Rep. Rob Nosse says the extra income could be a lifesaver for businesses in his inner Southeast Portland district.

Like most Oregon House Democrats, state Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland) is hoping Gov. Kate Brown will call a special legislative session before the end of the year to extend her residential eviction moratorium and provide as much relief as possible to Oregonians devastated by COVID-19.

If that special session happens, Nosse will also introduce a bill aimed at helping the heavy concentration of restaurants and bars in his inner Southeast Portland district. It would legalize cocktails to go.

Nosse asked the Legislative Counsel to draft a bill concept known as LC 10.

Here's the meat of that concept: "Allows holder of full on-premises sales license to sell and deliver mixed drinks in sealed containers for off-premises consumption. Requires Oregon Liquor Control Commission to adopt rule providing that not more than two mixed drinks may be ordered per substantial food item ordered."

If passed, the bill would sunset 60 days after Brown lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency.

As WW has reported, restaurant and bar owners desperate for revenue have pushed the OLCC to allow takeout cocktail sales as more than 30 other states, including Washington and California, have done during the pandemic. Oregon law prohibits the practice.

Nosse says if there's no special session, he'll bring his bill back in January, when the regular session begins. And if the bill passes, his first cocktail will be?

"Probably a mojito," Nosse says. "They're a pain to make at home so I'd probably head over to Palomar or the Rum Club."

Both establishments, it should go without saying, are in Nosse's district.

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