Oregon Cannabis: Why Won’t OLCC Treat Settlement Negotiations as Inadmissible?

We regularly represent Oregon marijuana licensees in administrative proceedings commenced by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC).  As anyone with a license knows, the OLCC regulates medical and recreational cannabis in Oregon. This includes enforcing the administrative rules against licensees when the OLCC believes a licensee has violated the administrative rules found in Chapter 845, Division 25.

When the OLCC believes a licensee has violated a rule, it issues a “charging document.” (See What to Do If You Receive an OLCC Notice of Proposed License Cancellation or Other “Charging Document.) The charging documents is akin to a complaint in civil litigation, or an indictment in a criminal proceeding, in that the OLCC recites the facts leading to its conclusion that one or more rules have been violated, cites the particular rules at issue, and the proposed sanction.

If the licensee disputes the charges, the licensee can request an administrative hearing which is essentially a trial before an administrative law judge. But the evidentiary and procedural rules for administrative hearings differ from ordinary civil litigation. (See here re discovery.) Generally speaking, the usual rules of evidence do not apply, instead the admissibility of evidence is governed by a more liberal reliability

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