As we wrote about earlier this month, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) passed late last year included significant, temporary federal excise tax relief for wine, beer and spirits businesses for 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, in an apparent oversight of legislative drafting, the wine excise tax relief (provided in the form of
Included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) passed in late December were “Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform” provisions that, among other things, reduced federal excise taxes for wine, beer and spirits businesses. These reductions expire at the end of 2019 unless extended by future legislation. While these changes may not have…
This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Alex Pearson.
With the Washington State Legislature’s third special session at a close, now is a good time for alcoholic beverage producers and distributors to take a moment to look at five bills that passed the Legislature and were signed into law by Governor Inslee this past session. All are effective as of July 23, 2017, and create new opportunities for producers and distributors. What follows is a summary of the more notable additions and modifications made by these new laws. Please note that these laws affect a variety of licensees, so we encourage all producers and distributors to evaluate these changes with their attorney.
Legal Definition of Mead
One of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages—mead—finally has a legal definition in Washington. S.H.B. 1176 amends RCW 66.24.215 and RCW 66.28.360 to define mead as a wine or malt beverage sold as “mead” and which is fermented primarily from honey, but may contain other agricultural products such as fruit, hops, or spices. Those licensed to sell beer or cider in growlers will also be allowed to similarly sell mead to customers, so long as the mead sold has an alcohol content equal to or less than 14 percent alcohol by volume. Additionally, starting January 1, 2018, mead will be exempt from the assessment on wine production that funds the Washington Wine Commission.
Continue Reading 2017 Changes to Washington Liquor Laws Affecting Producers and Distributors
This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Antonija Krizanac.
Since the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session convened on February 1, 2017, the Legislature has introduced a variety of bills that impact the Oregon alcohol and beverage industry. Out of the countless proposed bills, five have already been signed by the Governor and will go into effect this year or early 2018 and may impact your business. Following is a summary of those bills.
House Bill 2150: Relating to electronic administration of alcoholic beverage tax provisions
House Bill 2150 requires the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (“OLCC”) to allow manufacturers or distributors of wine, cider, or malt beverages to file by electronic means:
- A statement of the quantity of wine, cider, or malt beverages produced, purchased, or received, and
- Payment of privilege taxes on such activities.
This alters the current filing and payment system, which is done on paper. The measure will apply to statements or privilege taxes due on or after July 1, 2019.
Effective date: January 1, 2018
Link to enrolled bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2150…
Continue Reading 2017 Changes to Oregon Liquor Laws
This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Emma Vignali.
On July 23, 2017, numerous Bills will go into effect that will meaningfully impact alcohol and beverage retailers across Washington. Governor Jay Inslee will sign four bills that will create opportunities for alcohol retailers and simplify the licensing process for current and future licensees. Additionally, although not yet passed by the legislature, S.B. 5164 would expand the criteria under RCW 66.24.363 to authorize the issuance of a beer and wine tasting endorsement to small retailers of meat, seafood, poultry, and cheese. The following is a summary of some of the notable changes adopted in these bills. Note that many of the changes affect licenses, so we encourage anyone who sells alcohol in Washington to discuss these changes with their attorney.
Special Permit for Wine Auctions
H.B. 1718 amends RCW 66.20.010 to improve the process for non-profits hoping to hold wine auctions at their charitable events. While the previous process for holding wine auctions proved strenuous for many non-profits, this Bill simplifies the process by creating a special permit specifically for private wine auctions. The special permit allows non-profits to auction wine for off-premises consumption and to provide auction guests with tasting samples of the wine to be auctioned at the event. More than one winery may participate in the auction, but each must be listed on the application for the special permit. A $25.00 fee will be charged for each winery listed on the permit. Non-profit organizations considering holding a private auction should be sure to apply for a permit prior to the event.
Continue Reading 2017 Changes to Washington Liquor Laws Affecting Retailers
The folks at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”) received nearly half a million trademark applications last year. These applications included thousands of new filings by breweries, vineyards, wineries, and distilleries. Here are five important lessons we learned from last year’s decisions by various trademark tribunals about protecting and registering your mark in the beer, wine or spirits industries.
Continue Reading Five Important Trademark Lessons the Beverages Trade Learned in 2014
Before entering into a distribution agreement, alcohol beverage producers should do their homework. Here is a list of questions to ask a potential distributor:
- Where are you doing business as a distributor?
- How long have you been in business?
- How did you get started?
- Is your state a franchise state?
- Are you affiliated with a
Movie theaters with restaurant-style food service will reach a broader audience with the recent signing into law of a bill passed by the Washington State Legislature allowing service of food and alcoholic beverages to their patrons. The law as currently written allows some service of alcohol in movie theaters, but requires exclusion of minors from the premises. The new law will create a new, more family friendly, beer, wine and spirits license for theaters. The license will allow minors if certain conditions are met and approved by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, such as submission of an alcohol control plan outlining the methods to prevent minors from obtaining alcohol, similar to plans that are required for clubs and show venues that host all‑ages concerts. Theaters will also be required to meet food and service requirements, similar to restaurants, to qualify for the license. (Senate Bill 5607 as Passed by Legislature)…
This week, a bill passed the Washington legislature that will allow a craft distillery to sell more of its product to customers visiting its distillery.
WSLCB adopted a new rule that will allow spirits retail licensees to deliver spirits to customers that place orders in person, through the mail or over the phone, fax or internet. This rule mirrors the beer and wine delivery privileges currently held by grocery store and beer/wine speciality shop licensees. The rule will go into effect December 8, 2012…