S290 - ABC Regulatory Reform Bill. (SL 2019-182)
Session Year 2019
Overview: S.L. 2019-182 makes the following changes to the alcohol laws:

  • Allows the holder of a distillery permit to obtain permits for on-premises malt beverage, on-premises unfortified wine, on-premises fortified wine, and mixed beverages and sell those types of alcoholic beverages for consumption at the distillery.
  • Allows the holder of a distillery permit to sell mixed beverages for consumption at the distillery. If a distillery elects to sell mixed beverages containing spirituous liquor other than that produced at the distillery, the distillery must obtain a mixed beverages permit.
  • Authorizes ABC stores to allow the purchase of individual bottles of spirituous liquor purchased through the special order process, and to sell in store any bottles received in excess of what was purchased by the requesting customer.
  • Directs local ABC boards to fulfill an order by a mixed beverages permittee for individual bottles or cases of spirituous liquor produced by an eligible distillery that are listed a regular code item for sale in the State.
  • Allows distilleries to issue purchase-transportation permits for spirituous liquor sold by the distillery, and allows ABC store employees to issue purchase-transportation permits, if authorized by the local board chairman.
  • Allows spirituous liquor tastings to be conducted in ABC stores, subject to several limitations.
  • Allows retail permit holder private label brands of malt beverages to be sold exclusively to the retailer that owns the brand name or to all retail permit holders within each territory without discrimination, at the retail permit holder's discretion.
  • Provides that a contract brewery that manufactures malt beverages is responsible for all aspects associated with manufacturing the product, subject to the rules of the Commission and the Department of Revenue.
  • Allows malt beverage tastings at farmers markets.
  • Allows on-premises or off-premises malt beverage permittees to transfer malt beverages to another on-premises or off-premises malt beverage permittee that is under common ownership or control of the transferor. The permittee is limited to no more than four such transfers per calendar year.
  • Directs the Commission to increase the maximum allowed discount for malt beverages and wine from 25% to 35%.
  • Defines "premises" to mean a fixed permanent establishment, including all areas inside or outside the licensed establishment, where the permittee has control through a lease, deed, or other legal process.
  • Authorizes the sale of up to two alcoholic drinks at one time to a patron, if the alcoholic drinks does not contain spirituous liquor.
  • Allows the sale and consumption of alcohol at bingo games.
  • Exempts breweries not engaged in the preparation of food on the premises from the health code regulations governing the sanitation of establishments that prepare or serve drink or food for pay.
  • Prohibits any jurisdiction located in a county that already has an ABC board from holding an ABC store election unless they negotiate a merger with an existing ABC board and makes those details available to the public prior to the election.
  • Requires local ABC boards to accept electronic payments in the form of debit cards or electronic transfer, but not by credit card or charge card, for any spirituous liquor purchased by a mixed beverage permittee.
  • Requires the Commission to make all forms required to apply for and receive a permit available on the Commission's Web site, and allow for electronic submission of those forms to the extent practicable, including submission with an electronic signature.
  • Creates a common area entertainment permit for common areas in multi-tenant establishments, which allows customers to exit a permitted premises with an open container and consume the alcohol in the common area of a multi-tenant establishment.
  • Creates a delivery service permit, which allows a permit holder's employee or independent contractor to deliver malt beverages, unfortified wine, or fortified wine on behalf of a retailer to an individual purchaser.
  • Allows breweries to sell the malt beverages owned by the brewery for on- or off-premises consumption, regardless of the results of any malt beverage election, upon obtaining the appropriate permit.
  • Allows sports and entertainment venues to obtain on-premises fortified wine and special occasion permits.
  • Repeals the purchase-transportation permit requirement for mixed beverage permittees for fortified wine and spirituous liquor and allows any amount to be purchased and transported by mixed beverage permittees, an employee of a mixed beverage permittee, or an employee of a local board transporting to a mixed beverage permittee.
  • Requires the Commission to make quarterly reports, beginning October 15, 2019, to the chairs of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety detailing the progress made in bidding and selecting an independent contractor for the receipt, storage, and distribution of spirituous liquor at and from the State warehouse.
  • Allows local ABC boards to use their own employees or contract with an independent contractor to provide delivery of spirituous liquor purchased by a mixed beverage permittee.
  • Directs the Program Evaluation Division (PED) to study the actions the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission is authorized to take for violations of Chapter 18B of the General Statutes.

Sections 26 and 29 of this act became effective July 29, 2019. Except as otherwise provided, the remainder of this act became effective September 1, 2019.

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