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2023! New Year, New Laws

Welcome to 2023! As industry members prepare for the year ahead, a recap of new and notable California Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) legislation to look out for:

  • ·Craft Distiller Direct Shipping: Effective September 29th, 2022, AB 920 permits licensed craft distillers to ship distilled spirits manufactured or produced by the licensee directly to consumers in California. Unless renewed, the law sunsets on January 1, 2024. A maximum of 2.25 liters may be shipped per day per consumer, and the licensee must maintain records of all shipments. The packaging label must include the words: “CONTAINS ALCOHOL: SIGNATURE OF PERSON AGE 21 YEARS OR OLDER REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY.” Notably, the privilege is extended only to craft distillers (Type 74) – it does not include larger distilled spirits manufacturers (Type 04).
  • Music Venue License: Effective January 1, 2023, SB 793 establishes a new ABC license (Type 90) to be issued to a music entertainment facility that may be open to all ages and provide alcoholic beverage service to adult patrons, including beer, wine and distilled spirits. The annual fee for a Music Venue License will vary depending on the venue’s location, ranging from $755 to $1,190. Current Type 47 or Type 48 license holders may also be eligible to exchange their licenses for a Type 90. The ABC recently provided Notice of its intent to adopt an emergency regulation to implement the provisions of SB 793, commenting that “additional clarity and specificity is required for ABC staff to perform the legislatively mandated tasks of processing, approving, and regulating music venue licensees.” The text of the proposed regulation can be found here.
  • Brewpub License Conversion: Effective January 1, 2023, SB 298 allows brewpub licensees who have held a Type 75 license since on or before December 31, 2019 to exchange their brewpub license for a Type 47 bona fide public eating place license. A license issued as an exchange would not besubject to the on-sale general license caps and may not be sold or transferred for a price greater than the fee paid by the seller or transferer.
  • Updates to Tied-House Advertising Exceptions: New amendments to California Business and Professions Code section 25503.6 add several existing venues to the list of advertising exceptions that allow manufacturer licensees to purchase advertising space and time from, or on behalf of, on-sale retail licensees. The additions include arenas in the city of San Jose, Riverside County, and the San Diego State University campus.
  • Expanded Privileges for Beer Manufacturers: Effective January 1, 2023, amendments to Section 25503.28 of the California Business & Professions Code expand self-distribution rights for beer manufacturers, as well as increase their number of authorized branch office locations and uses. AB 2301 authorizes Type 01 and Type 23 beer manufacturers to self-distribute beer of their own production to their on-sale retail locations that are located within five miles of the production facility. Previously, licensees were only permitted to self-distribute to a retail premises adjacent to the manufacturing premises. In addition, AB 2307 increases the maximum number of authorized branch office locations for beer manufacturers from six to eight, allows restaurants at four branch offices (previously only two permitted), and removes the requirement that a beer manufacturer branch office must purchase beer and wine from an unaffiliated licensed wholesaler. Branch offices are additional licensed locations that allow retail sales, storage, and distribution, and often include tasting rooms.

For more information on new ABC legislation, contact an attorney at Strike Kerr & Johns.


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