Category: Legislation

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I-1183 Upheld

The Washington Supreme Court has upheld I-1183.  Here is a link to the opinion, the concurrence and the dissent.  We will follow up with additional analysis, but for now, you can plan your first trip to the grocery store to purchase liquor as early as tomorrow.… Continue Reading

Washington State Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On Constitutionality Of I-1183

 by Hunter Ferguson Yesterday, the Washington State Supreme Court heard oral argument in Washington Association for Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention v. State, concerning the constitutionality of I-1183. WASAVP contends that I-1183 violates Article II, § 19 of the Washington Constitution in two ways: (1) the initiative violates the “single-subject rule,” by including a $10 million … Continue Reading

I-1183 Litigation Update

Today the Washington State Supreme Court accepted review of the challenge to I-1183.  The briefing schedule has been posted, and the arguments are set for May 17th.  We expect an opinion to be issued before the June 1st implementation date for retail spirits sales.  Our colleague Hunter O. Ferguson provided the following update: I. WASAVAP v. … Continue Reading

Cowlitz County Superior Court Denies Motion For Preliminary Injunction Against I-1183

Defenders of I-1183 received a holiday gift last week from the Cowlitz County Superior Court. On Thursday, December 22, 2011, the Court issued two important rulings in the declaratory judgment action challenging the constitutionality of I-1183. First, the Court granted the motion to intervene brought a group of supports of I-1183 led by Costco and … Continue Reading

I-1183 Faces Legal Challenges

Despite Washington voters’ approval of I-1183 in the November 2011 election, the effort to privatize the wholesale distribution and retail sale of liquor in Washington faces another hurdle.  Last week, two lawsuits were filed in Washington courts challenging the validity of I-1183.   The plaintiffs in both cases contend that the newly enacted law violates the … Continue Reading

Court Upholds San Diego County’s Winery Ordinance

On April 15th, a California Superior Court Judge denied a challenge to San Diego County’s new Winery Ordinance. The Ordinance, passed in 2010 and available here, eases restrictions on tasting rooms and sales for smaller producers and allows others to essentially “fast-track” registration as a “small winery” with such designation allowing for pre-approved events, such … Continue Reading

Conjunctive Labeling Comes to Sonoma County

               With the turn of the calendar and after nearly a year of political wrangling, conjunctive labeling will be the norm for Sonoma County wineries beginning in 2014. Passed by unanimous vote in both the state assembly and senate in August and signed by Governor Schwartzenegger at the end of September, AB 1798 will require … Continue Reading

Audit Supports More Liquor Permits for Utah

A recent legislative audit made several strong recommendations for reforming Utah’s liquor  laws, in particular the quota system for granting alcohol permits. The audit echoes reports that the current shortage of alcohol permits is stifling economic development and does not reflect the state’s changing population. Utah is in the small minority of control states that grant liquor … Continue Reading

More Liquor Permits Possible for Utah

Senator John Valentine (R – Orem) has announced that he intends to introduce a bill in the next Utah legislative session that would establish a property right in liquor permits, allowing restaurants with current liquor permits to sell them. Use of any purchased permit would be conditioned upon approval by the state liquor-control board. The … Continue Reading

Update on Utah’s Privatization Process

As we previously reported, Utah is considering privatizing at least some aspects of its liquor control. On Wednesday, August 25, John Freeman, the Deputy Director of Operations for The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“DABC”) appeared before the Privatization Board to answer questions. Mr. Freeman presented four reasons to maintain the status quo. First, … Continue Reading

Possible Privatization of Utah Liquor Stores

The sixteen-member Utah Privatization Policy Board was created by the legislature to determine what services currently provided by the state can be privatized. State liquor stores are one of many state functions that the Board is examining.  Utah is one of 18 states, and two Maryland counties, that currently use a state run retail system, commonly … Continue Reading

Dueling Liquor Privatization Initiatives in Washington State: What do the Initiatives Say and Who are the Players?

Word is out that enough signatures have likely been gathered to ensure that an initiative backed by Costco will make it on the on the ballot in Washington State in November. The Costco backed initiative would transition sales of spirits in Washington State from state operated liquor stores to private retail stores and allow manufacturer to … Continue Reading
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