Oregon Liquor Control Commission to Allow Return of Product Due to Event Cancellation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission Office Building on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard in Portland. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission Office Building on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard in Portland. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

Yesterday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the cancelling of all events and gatherings larger than 25 people to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This announcement put some folks that had large events planned that involved alcohol over the coming weeks scrambling for a solution. Governor Brown also restricted restaurants, bars and other establishments that offer food and/or beverages from offering on-premises consumption.

Today, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has offered up a solution that will allow for the return of unused, unopened malt beverages, wine, cider and distilled liquor purchased for events that are canceled or will pass their sell-by date on or before April 17, 2020 due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here are the details from today’s OLCC press release…

The return privilege is available to holders of either a Temporary Sales license (TSL) or Special Event license issued by the Commission. The path for return varies upon product type.

For Malt Beverages, Wine, and Cider

  • Suppliers may accept returns of any unused malt beverages, wine or cider from retailers holding a special event license that has been cancelled.
  • Although OLCC is permitting returns, alcohol suppliers are not required to accept returns of such products. Alcohol suppliers may give credit or cash for returned product.

Additionally, suppliers of malt beverages, wine or cider may accept returns of unused alcoholic beverages that will pass their sell-by date on or before April 17, 2020 from annual license holders.

For Distilled Liquor

  • A Retail Liquor Store may accept the product under the following circumstances:
    • The container(s) must be unopened.
    • The container must be returned to the store at which it was purchased.
      The product must be currently listed by OLCC. Product that is delisted or closed out will not be accepted.
    • Containers with labels that are old, faded, or defaced will not be accepted.
    • The container will not be accepted if the retail sales agent or employee determines that the container has been tampered with.
    • The return must be accompanied by the receipt. Containers listed on the current receipt may be returned up to 30 days after the event cancellation.
    • Only holders of a Temporary Sales License (TSL) are eligible for returns.

Given the unexpected and widespread nature of the concerns involving COVID-19, OLCC will not consider returns of alcohol beverage products purchased to sell at cancelled events to violate state financial assistance laws.

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