Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 10th, 2017 at 12:07 pm
When I saw a KGW report this morning about home delivery of recreational marijuana, my first thought was: “I wonder if they could that by bike?”
After all, marijuana is big business in Portland and local companies deliver all sorts of things by bike. With companies like B-Line Urban Delivery, Go Box (pictured above), and Portland Pedal Power, Portland is on the cutting edge of using bicycles for delivery.
Marijuana by bike in Portland should be a no-brainer. At least that’s what I thought.
My curiousity led me to call Aleeya Kim, owner of La Cannaisseur in Linnton (whose shop was profiled in the KGW story). I asked Kim about bike delivery and she referred me to the official Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules they have to follow in order to keep their license.
The first rules I found were temporary rules adopted in October 2015. Those rules didn’t include any specific language that would prevent the use of a bicycle for marijuana delivery. That’s because whenever the language referred to the delivery vehicle, it didn’t include the word “motor.” And in Oregon law, “When the term ‘vehicle’ is used the term shall be deemed to be applicable to bicycles.”
Great! I thought. Let the bike deliveries begin!
But I wanted to confirm my findings with the OLCC. I called their public affairs manager Mark Pettinger. Pettinger informed me that the rules from 2015 had been revised and were no longer valid.
Where the initial rules referred only to “vehicle,” the final rules (PDF) — in the chapter titled “Delivery of Marijuana Items by Retailer” — do include the term “motor vehicle”.
Here’s the relevant passage of Oregon Administrative Rule 845-025-2880 (emphases mine):
(b) The marijuana retailer may only deliver in a motor vehicle to the individual who placed the bona fide order and only to individuals who are 21 years of age or older.
(h) All marijuana items must be kept in a lock-box securely affixed inside the delivery motor vehicle.
Beyond the “motor” part, there is nothing in the OAR that would prevent a bicycle from being used as a marijuana delivery vehicle. In Oregon, even if a law includes the term “motor vehicle” it still applies to bicycles unless the law specifically states that bicycles are excluded (or if the law is obviously not applicable).
But here’s the catch: OAR and ORS and not the same thing. While the ORS are state statutes passed by the legislature, OARs are created and adopted by agencies (the OLCC in this case). Therefore it seems likely that the OLCC specifically added “motor” to the rules so that bicycles couldn’t be used to make home deliveries of marijuana.
So the question remains: Why would the OLCC want to make sure bicycles couldn’t be used to deliver marijuana? We don’t know the answer to that yet, but it might be interesting to find out.