Illinois: When and Why Cannabis will pass and successful Liquor bills

 

Introduction

The Illinois legislature is adjourning in a week and today several liquor bills passed both houses including a bill that creates a distiller pub license. Interesting enough, a bill that would make changes to the existing brew pub license did not get called for a vote today and its deadline was extended for the day of adjournment, May 31st.

There was no official movement on the cannabis bills

Cannabis

Cannabis will not be completed by the adjournment deadline which is May 31st.  It will pass in overtime. In overtime (after adjournment) it needs a super-majority. Since the Democrats hold this in both houses, they don’t need one Republican vote the bill to pass.

There are Democrats publicly opposing the bill, however, this will not stop it.  My prediction is the cannabis bill will get done in conjunction with a capital bill. And the Democrats that now oppose cannabis will get on board for something their union backers want, namely a capital bill.

Whether this is a charade or part of a grand bargain, we never know in Illinois. But I think the great cannabis compromise will be part of a capital bill.

Liquor

The Following bills passed both Houses of the legislature and are certain to become law.

HB 2675

Creates a distiller pub license.  Under this license the pub can do the following: manufacture up to 5,000 gallons per year on the premises specified on the license; make sales of spirits manufactured on the licensed premises or spirits transferred from another distiller pub license that is wholly owned and operated by the same licensee; store spirits; sell and offer for sale at retail on the licensed premises no more than 5,000 gallons of spirits, the sales must be made in-person only; sell any form of alcoholic liquor purchased from a licensed wholesaler; and transfer 5,000 gallons of its product to a licensed distiller pub wholly owned and operated by the same licensee.

Further, the legislation would make it illegally for the distiller pub to sell to retailers.

Under the legislation, anyone holding a craft distiller license could hold a distiller pub license but is limited to 3 distiller pub licenses and subject to other specific restrictions.

Finally, this legislation allows a craft distiller to transfer to a distiller pub 8,000 gallons of spirits.

SB 1831

Changes the definition of beer to include any beverages brewed or fermented wholly in part from malt products.

Allows a caterer retailer to transfer product directly from their retail location to an off-site event, or allows them to have a distributor directly deliver the product to an off-site event.

Allows a refund/credit for a caterer retailer if: an event is cancelled based on an act of God; the holder of the caterer retailer license has not transferred liquor to the off-site location; the distributor offers credit for the unused beer delivered to the off-site premise; and the beer would likely spoil if not returned.

Allows a special use permit license holder to purchase alcohol from a distributor and have it directly delivered to the location specified in the license.

Allows a refund/credit for unused, salable beer at the conclusion of the event if the holder of the special event permit has not transferred liquor from its retail licensed premises to the special event location.

Changes the signage requirements dollar amount, the present dollar limitation on signage is $3,000 per manufacturer, this bill would change this to $3,000 per brand.

Allows a manufacturer or wholesaler to inspect draft beer, wine, or distilled spirits systems at regular intervals and may provide labor to replace or install dispensing accessories.  However, the proposed change would not allow a wholesaler to sell or give coil cleaning services to a retailer

This bill also creates a new statutory section that would set the parameters of when it is permissible or impermissible to give, sell, or lease dispensing equipment. The bill allows a manufacturer or wholesaler to provide dispensing equipment one-time a year for a one-day period free of charge. Additionally, the bill allows the following: giving the dispensing equipment to a special event retailer for the duration of the event; selling dispensing equipment at not less than the cost to the wholesaler or manufacturer paid for it; the bill allows the leasing of equipment for a fair market value, but the entire lease payment must be paid within 30 days.

HB 2577

This bill would exclude from posting a revenue bond each year, those wholesalers and manufacturers that have less than $50,000 of tax liability

The following bill’s deadline is extended and has yet to be called for a final vote.

HB 3610

Makes changes to the existing brew pub license. Allows a brew pub to make up to 155,000 gallons through a written agreement with a brewer, class 1 brewer, class 2 brewer, or brew pub and allows a brew pub to make sales of beer through a written agreement with a brewer, class 1 brewer, class 2 brewer, or brew pub. Finally, the legislation allows wholly owned and operated brew pubs by the same licensee to combine each location’s production limits of 155,000 gallons per year and allocate the aggregate total between the wholly owned, operated, and licensed locations.

 

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