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Alcohol Energy Drinks
Official Notification to Wholesalers & Distributors
Effective Dec. 3, 2010, the OLCC has approved a rule change that allows wholesalers/distributors to exchange the seven banned alcoholic energy drinks containing caffeine for other malt beverage products of equivalent value.
 
The seven products affected by the ban include Core High Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, Lemon Lime Core Spiked, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max.
 
It is up to the wholesalers/distributors and the retailers to make arrangements for exchanges of these seven products.
 
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Jesse Sweet, Wholesale and Manufacturing Specialist at 503-872-5250 or jesse.sweet@state.or.us.
 
Download this notice (pdf)
 

Official Notification to Businesses
alcohol energy drinks
At a special meeting held November 20, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission adopted a temporary rule banning seven alcoholic energy drinks from being sold or offered for sale in the state of Oregon.  The ban on these products is effective immediately.  The decision came as a result of new information regarding OLCC’s legal options concerning alcoholic energy drinks as well as a recent ruling from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
 
The seven products affected by the rule include Core High Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, Lemon Lime Core Spiked, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max, which were determined to be “adulterated” products by the FDA because they contain the “unsafe food additive” of caffeine.  
 
The sale of these seven products must be discontinued and the products removed from shelves and/or displays immediately.  Failure to comply could result in a category two violation, which carries a penalty of a mandatory 30-day suspension of your liquor license.
 
The temporary rule adopted November 20, 2010 will be effective until May 18, 2011.  During that time, OLCC staff will begin permanent rulemaking concerning alcoholic energy drinks. 
 
Additional questions can be directed to Jesse Sweet, Compliance Specialist 503-872-5250 or to your local field office:
 
Bend: 541-388-6292
Coos Bay: 541-266-7601
Eugene: 541-686-7739
Klamath Falls: 541-883-5600
Medford: 541-776-6191
Newport: 541-265-4522
Nyssa: 541-372-5625
Pendleton: 541-276-7841
Roseburg: 541-440-3362
Salem: 503-378-4871
Warrenton: 503-861-3912
 
Download this Notice (pdf)


OLCC Commissioners ban Alcoholic Energy Drinks in Oregon
(November 20, 2010) At a special meeting, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission voted 4-1 in favor of banning alcoholic energy drinks from being sold in the state of Oregon. The decision came as a result of new information regarding OLCC’s legal options concerning alcoholic energy drinks as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent ruling.
 
“The OLCC has been concerned about the health risks of these products for some time,” says OLCC Chairman Philip Lang. “It’s unfortunate that so many young people around the country were hurt by these products. We’re glad that we can play a role in preventing that from happening here in the future.”
 
The seven products affected by the ban include Core High Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, Lemon Lime Core Spiked, Moonshot, Four Loko, Joose, and Max, which were determined to be “adulterated” products by the FDA because they contain the “unsafe food additive” of caffeine. The ban on these products will be effective immediately.
 
The temporary rule adopted today will be effective until May 18, 2011. During that time, OLCC staff will begin permanent rulemaking concerning alcoholic energy drinks. The special commission meeting was held at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 20 at the OLCC headquarters in Milwaukie.
 
 

OLCC warns public about concerns for alcoholic energy drinks
(October 28, 2010) Recent unfortunate events regarding minors in Washington State who were sent to the hospital after drinking caffeinated alcoholic beverages has brought to light concerns that the OLCC has shared for some time.
 
“These are relatively new products with little to no research on the health risks associated with consumption,” says OLCC Chairman, Philip Lang. “In my opinion, alcoholic energy drinks should be removed from the market until further research is done.” Lang is supportive of local moderation group Oregon Partnership’s efforts to alert the public to the dangers of alcoholic energy drinks.
 
OLCC is reviewing options to help address the public safety concerns created by these products. In addition to working with moderation groups, the agency is exploring possible solutions with legislators about further regulation, and contacting alcohol regulatory agencies in other states. While these products are currently being reviewed by the federal drug administration, several local grocery stores have voluntarily pulled these products.
 
 
 
 

Parents warned of look-alike alcohol energy drinks
According to the Marin Institute, 31 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds and 34 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds regularly consume energy beverages. Producers of alcohol energy drinks have capitalized on this popularity in their marketing strategies – including using look-alike cans, says the Institute.
 
With guidance from Executive Director Steve Pharo and Enforcement and Regulatory Services Director Linda Ignowski, the OLCC approached the problem on several levels - alerting licensees and parents through a public information campaign to help ensure that these alcohol energy drinks aren’t winding up in the wrong hands. Also, minor decoys take alcohol energy drinks to the counter during routine compliance checks – to see if clerks are checking ID on these products.
 
“Alcohol energy beverages are legal for adults, but some of the packaging can be confusing and that’s what bothers us,” Pharo said. “Parents can’t easily tell the difference between regular and alcohol energy drinks, and some store clerks have even placed the products alongside their non-alcoholic counterparts.”

Problem illustrated
This problem came to light in 2007, when an OLCC inspector counted nine different energy drinks in the beer cooler of a Portland-area convenience store.
 
“The cans closely resemble the typical energy drink cans,” he said. “An employee told me he had mistakenly inventoried the drinks as (non-alcohol) energy drinks. This means they didn't ring up as alcohol at the cash register. Consequently, the age verification equipment software didn't ask the cashier to input a date of birth at time of purchase.”
 
There are also health concerns about young people and the high doses of caffeine bringing on anxiety and panic attacks, increasing blood pressure – and masking the intoxicating effects of alcohol, which may increase risk-taking.
 
Current alcohol energy drinks on the market contain anywhere from six to 12 percent alcohol by volume.