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Liquor, cannabis, lottery: Are our vices essential services in face of COVID-19?

Mar 30, 2020, 4:17 pm

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Oregon LotteryOregon Lottery: Liquor, cannabis, lottery: Are our vices essential services in face of COVID-19?Rating:

In a series of executive orders, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has increasingly forced businesses to close their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19.

But there are three notable exceptions: Liquor, cannabis, and lottery tickets.

Why are our vices exempt?

Some other states have deemed liquor stores and cannabis shops "essential services," citing both an economic incentive to maintain tax revenues and concern that people with substance abuse disorders would seek urgent medical care while the system is overburdened.

That wasn't the case in Oregon though, Brown's spokesman, Charles Boyle, said.

"The businesses closed by the executive order were selected specifically because, from a public health perspective, those types of businesses cannot adequately implement social distancing practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — stores where customers sit or lie on furniture, for example, or pick up and examine individual pieces of jewelry," he said.

Other states have reported people panic-buying liquor, just like they've panic-bought toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

Though they have the numbers, Oregon officials won't say whether that's happened here.

"We would like to focus all the attention on our licensees and the plight they're in," said Matt Van Sickle, a spokesman for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

But both liquor and cannabis stores are reporting sales are up.

"Last week we saw a huge spike when people were panic buying," said Brett Moore, operations director for Homegrown Oregon, which has four cannabis shops in Oregon. "This week there's a decline as people are realizing they don't have to hoard things as much as they thought they did."

OLCC has made several temporary rule changes to help keep alcohol and cannabis sales strong despite business closures.

Now, liquor stores can offer curbside delivery, Van Sickle said.

So can distilleries, wineries, breweries, bars and restaurants if they hold "off-premise" sales licenses. And the agency is offering 90-day temporary offsite licenses to those who don't.

Same-day delivery hours also have been extended, from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Although there has been some interest in allowing curbside pickup of mixed drinks, that's not on the table right now, Van Sickle said.

South Salem Liquor Mart has begun offering curbside pickup, but the store also is staying open to customers, manager Dillon Triance said. There now is a barrier keeping customers 6 feet from cashiers, and a direction for lines to go.

Southeast Salem's Liquor Outlet is the third-highest grossing liquor store in Oregon, meaning curbside pickup wouldn't work, said John Trussell, a manager there.

But the store is only letting in five customers at a time, making sure customers keep their distance, not allowing outside bags in the store, and sanitizing registers after each transaction. And it's shut down its growler-fill station, Trussell said.

OLCC also made temporary rule changes allowing curbside pickup for cannabis.

Homegrown Oregon began offering curbside pickup as soon as the rules were announced, Moore said. On Friday, it began encouraging all its customers to place orders online for curbside pickup.

Those who want to come inside still can, but they'll be separated from staff by a Plexiglas enclosure.

The Oregon Lottery, meanwhile, disabled video lottery machines on March 17. But it's still selling scratch-it and jackpot game tickets in retailers that remain open.

Some critics have expressed concerns about putting people at unnecessary risk of catching COVID-19 during face-to-face ticket sales. Others worry about transmission through the lottery's public touchscreen terminals.

"We suggest players take the same precautions they take when purchasing other goods," lottery spokesman Matt Shelby said.

Those include washing hands, avoiding touching faces and maintaining appropriate social distancing.

"Players can check their tickets for winners via the lottery app. Winners who would rather not interact directly with others may mail in their claims directly to lottery," he said.

Of course, the best place for lottery players to check their winning numbers is right on Lottery Post's Lottery Results page.

Players needing to search for a different lottery retailer in their area — perhaps one that has not closed its doors — can use the free Lottery Places app, available for Android, iPhone, and Windows.

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13 comments. Last comment 4 months ago by Groppo.
Page 1 of 1
Avatar

United States
Member #180549
March 12, 2017
188 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 30, 2020, 5:01 pm - IP Logged

Yes!  We need weed, beer, pills, and lottery right about now!

I am the Prince of Thieves!!!

    CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
    Central TN
    United States
    Member #121189
    January 4, 2012
    4673 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 30, 2020, 5:40 pm - IP Logged

    " Panic-buying liquor"     Green laugh

    Integrity: There is just no substitute.

      cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

      United States
      Member #197033
      March 28, 2019
      538 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: March 30, 2020, 6:04 pm - IP Logged

      Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a serious condition that can occur in some alcoholics when they try to quit cold turkey. There was an actor on True Blood, Nelsan Ellis, who died of heart failure trying to quit alcohol too abruptly. I know it's easy to scoff at alkies still getting their fix during all this lockdown, but if they're functional alcholics, the booze will keep them out of the hospital. A beer a day keeps the doctor away.

      ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163184
        January 22, 2015
        2231 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 30, 2020, 6:11 pm - IP Logged

        You're 100%.   DT's can be downright dangerous.   I remember one post-op heart (still intubated) had to have alcohol IV to stop his DT's.    OTOH, narc babies which I didn't have to work with would be in withdrawal(s) from their druggie Moms.   

          Avatar
          Chasing $ Millions.
          White Shores- California
          United States
          Member #136473
          December 12, 2012
          6275 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 30, 2020, 7:10 pm - IP Logged

          Definitely not throwing my support for Oregon, but this is nothing short of a W** Dream.

          Practising Social distancing by being at home: Fully loaded w/ your favorite alcohol, clouds filling the room, you with a  broad smile on your face as you glance at the single winning jackpot ticket for this week in your hand.

           * Voice of Reason *   

           

          People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

            Avatar
            New York, NY
            United States
            Member #140630
            March 23, 2013
            10543 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: March 30, 2020, 7:17 pm - IP Logged

            People often forget alcohol is considered by its nature a food product. And asking people to stay indoors not go out not go around people and then say not drink? You gotta be kidding. Good luck.

            Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              25
              Ringleader
              Michigan
              United States
              Member #81738
              October 28, 2009
              75596 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 30, 2020, 7:45 pm - IP Logged

              " Panic-buying liquor"     Green laugh

              Yep, Plus I got enough M & M's to last a life time. Cheers

              Hi LP family, won't be posting for a couple days, Hurt my right arm.

                Avatar
                Louisiana
                United States
                Member #191895
                August 27, 2018
                619 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 30, 2020, 8:12 pm - IP Logged

                Only the lottery is relevant is these times. Lottery tickets must be sold! Smiley

                All number sets are contenders until the drawing occurs.

                  music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
                  Fresno, California
                  United States
                  Member #157851
                  August 2, 2014
                  3927 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: March 30, 2020, 9:34 pm - IP Logged

                  Have the churches, synagogues, and temples been forcibly closed? While these Vice stores are free to open.

                  Big Grin Angel

                   "We are all in this together!" 

                    Avatar
                    Chasing $ Millions.
                    White Shores- California
                    United States
                    Member #136473
                    December 12, 2012
                    6275 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 30, 2020, 9:55 pm - IP Logged

                    Have the churches, synagogues, and temples been forcibly closed? While these Vice stores are free to open.

                    Big Grin Angel

                    Nice of you to ask music. Read that Osteen has heeded the warning & streamed his activities, but some religious pastors in Ohio & Loisiana did not. Said that it was their duty to shepherd the flock by them being present for service* think they had 1,800 in attendance for service.

                    These characters have a Messiah complex and need to be arrested. They are obviously unfamiliar with scripture, cause when Jesus got word that the religious leaders wanted to arrest him, he totally avoides that city.

                     * Voice of Reason *   

                     

                    People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                      Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                      100
                      Zeta Reticuli Star System
                      United States
                      Member #30469
                      January 17, 2006
                      11490 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 30, 2020, 11:53 pm - IP Logged

                      noise-gate,

                      Perhaps the pastors who said it was their duty to shepherd the flock are more concerned with passing the collection plates than 'shepherding'.

                      Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

                      Lep

                      There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                        Nikkicute's avatar - wi lotto3.jpg
                        Wisconsin
                        United States
                        Member #123286
                        February 17, 2012
                        4067 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 31, 2020, 3:31 am - IP Logged

                        noise-gate,

                        Perhaps the pastors who said it was their duty to shepherd the flock are more concerned with passing the collection plates than 'shepherding'.

                        AMEN!! lolBig Grin Angel Nothing stops that collection plate, nothing!!

                          Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

                          United States
                          Member #162626
                          January 7, 2015
                          778 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 31, 2020, 9:41 am - IP Logged

                          Only the lottery is relevant is these times. Lottery tickets must be sold! Smiley

                          .

                          Big Joey,

                          Yes, I agree. For the people who don't know where they'll end up.
                          They may as well play lotto, with the guidelines as outlined for one, by my signature below.

                          Covid2019 is nobody's fault, but is everybody's problem.
                          Mr. Groppo

                          • Don't chase the numbers you play.
                          • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
                          • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                                     (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
                          • Oh, but always know where your tickets are, as well as your ticket's deadline.