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Liquor Law Blog

Discussing liquor law and regulation issues.

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Jun 18, 2019

Skill Games a Real Gamble

With the recent closing of the purchase of the Sands Casino in Bethlehem by Wind Creek Hospitality for $1.3 billion, the question of the legality of video “games of skill” remains a focus and a hot topic within the Commonwealth. Many of these games are a significant source of income for many businesses, including liquor license establishments, which have been allowing them on their licensed premises since a 2014 decision in Beaver County that ruled that a video game machine manufactured by Pace-O-Matic was not a “gambling device per se.”

Since that controversial decision, the legality of these games has been an unknown gray area. » Read More

May 30, 2019

It’s Back: Controversial Special Ruling Defining Limited Brewery Activities Has Returned (With Changes)

In September 2018, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) issued, and quickly rescinded, a Special Ruling Authorizing Certain Activities by Holders of Limited Brewery Licenses. Amidst a media frenzy, the ABC decided that it should postpone the implementation of the Special Ruling so it could speak further with New Jersey’s limited breweries and other stakeholders in an effort to make the Special Ruling more palatable to the industry. » Read More

May 13, 2019

Getting Stuck in a Crowd: If You Need Crowdfunding to Support Your Business, You Are Not Fit to Hold a New Jersey Liquor License

Crowdfunding has become a popular way for businesses, including breweries, to not only raise money, but also market their brand before launching their products.  Although crowd-sourced funding has its benefits, it also has its pitfalls.  For instance, what happens if you use crowdfunding prior to opening your brewery, but you never open your doors due to unforeseen circumstances, and the money you raised on Kickstarter is gone?  » Read More

May 07, 2019

TTB Passes on CBD

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wasn’t the only federal agency to release guidance on the use of CBD in food and beverages last week. On April 25, 2019, The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued Industry Circular 2019-1, Hemp Ingredients in Alcoholic Beverage Formulas. » Read More

Feb 22, 2019

The Aftermath of the Government Shutdown on TTB Processing Times for Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries

The United States federal government shutdown is nearly one month in our history, and we finally have some clarity regarding the shutdown’s effect on TTB permit application processing times. On February 21, 2019, the TTB updated its website listing the average number of days it takes to process TTB original permit applications.  » Read More

Feb 11, 2019

Seeding the Vines: New Jersey to Provide Assistance to Wineries

New Jersey’s alcoholic beverage manufacturers have been looking for more support from the state government, and this month, wineries and vineyards received some good news.  Recognizing the rise of agrotourism and increased interest for locally-made alcoholic beverages, New Jersey has enacted a new law requiring the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide a loan program for wineries and vineyards. » Read More

Feb 07, 2019

ABC Relaxation of COLA Requirement for Intrastate Sales

Relax.  You may not always need a COLA to register your brand in New Jersey.

In a prior post, we talked about the need to obtain a COLA for New Jersey brand registration per New Jersey regulations, even if the brand is sold intrastate only, or just in your taproom (and therefore would not require a COLA under federal law).  » Read More

Jan 25, 2019

How to Prepare Your Brewery for an FDA Inspection

On October 12, 2018, I spoke at The Brewers of Pennsylvania 4th Annual Mid Atlantic Brewers’ Symposium about inspections of breweries by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).  These inspections are still relatively new to breweries, but it is imperative that every brewery is prepared and compliant for the inevitable day the FDA comes to visit.  » Read More

Jan 23, 2019

Pa.L.C.B. Announces Eighth Restaurant Liquor License Auction

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (Pa.L.C.B.) has announced the eighth restaurant liquor license auction, which is permitted under Act 39 of 2016.  These auctions are for “zombie licenses” that have been expired and in possession of the Pa.L.C.B. dating back to the year 2000.  » Read More

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