One of my favorite niches or sectors of the marijuana industry in Oregon is the marijuana entertainment sector. The first one that I had ever heard of was the World Famous Cannabis Cafe (WFCC). It has since been shutdown due to new indoor air rules, but at one point in time it was the hotspot destination in Oregon. Other venues built on a similar model started popping up all over Oregon. Some are still operating, while others have been shutdown like the WFCC.
Another type of entertainment event started proliferating Oregon over the last couple of years. One-time events have become a mainstay of the Oregon marijuana industry. Sometimes they are comedy shows, sometimes they are painting events, and other times they are something different still. But the main principle of renting out a venue space, charging people an admission at the door, and having ‘cannabis catering’ as I call it is something that a lot of people are doing in Oregon right now.
I have attended a handful of events that fit that description, and they are always fun. The entertainment portion is what I mainly come for, but I’d be lying if I said the cannabis sampling wasn’t part of what convinced me to leave my house to come to the event. To me it seems obvious, and quite logical, that if I’m attending a cannabis themed event that I plan on consuming cannabis while I’m at said event. Unfortunately it sounds like the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is going to be cracking down on events like the ones described, which combined with the new Oregon Clean Air Act, could result in a dramatic decrease in marijuana entertainment events and venues.
The OLCC’s position is that if a cover charge or ticket fee is paid, no marijuana can be gifted or given away inside the event/venue because it would constitute marijuana sales. Only licensed outlets can sell marijuana. If the venue has an OLCC license, the OLCC plans to crack down HARD on the venue owners. If the venue doesn’t have an OLCC license, regulators will then likely rely on the Oregon Clean Air Act to levy sanctions and penalties.
At this point, the only type of marijuana entertainment events that are allowed are private ones on private property that don’t have any affiliation with the OLCC. I’m not exactly sure how someone could build a business model off of something like that, but Oregonians are creative and resilient, so hopefully some things will continue. I expect cannabis tours to start becoming more popular to fill the void. It’s my understanding that consumption is still allowed in public transportation, like a party bus. Below is a document that the OLCC recently released describing what is OK and what isn’t when it comes to gifting cannabis at events/venues: