Proposed Illinois Liquor Legislation

 

Introduction to Proposed Illinois Legislation

Included are the vast majority of Illinois liquor bills so far introduced this session.

The craft distillers are busy! They are requesting full retail privileges, self-distribution privileges, increases in the amount they can serve in their tasting rooms, and up to 500,000 gallons in storage capacity.

This last number seems interesting given the fact that a craft distiller is limited to producing 100,000 gallons a year. The requested storage limits would be 5 times the amount of annual production limits.

Other highlights include bills that would define permissibility of services a distributor could perform, a bill that would change how a brew pub operates, and a bill that would give greater authority and policing power to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s (ILCC) enforcement agents.

Keep in mind these bills are proposed and are not final. But they are the beginning of the discussion, let’s see where they go!

 

Bills

SB 54-Creates a third-party facilitator license for parties that deliver alcohol on behalf of retailers, takes away control from local governments pertaining to deliveries.  See link for more, http://irishliquorlawyer.com/will-local-governments-power-be-swallowed-up-by-a-bigger-fish/

 

SB 1190-Allows a craft distiller self-distribution privileges up to 2,500 gallons

 

SB 1672-Allows for self-distribution privileges up to 2,500 gallons.

Provides a craft distiller full retail privileges (Allows them to sell any alcoholic liquor purchased from a wholesaler. Under current law they can only sell their own product).

Increases the amount of spirits the craft distiller may sell at retail from 2,500 to 10,000.

Amends the craft distiller permit license: to allow the sale at retail of up to 5,000 gallons transferred from another premises; to allow the sale of alcohol purchased from a licensed distributor or importing distributor; and to allow a tasting permit license for up to 2 additional locations.

Creates a craft distiller warehouse permit which allows the holder to store or warehouse up to 500,000 gallons of spirits manufactured by the holder of the permit.

 

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 1439-Companion bill to SB 54

 

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

 

HB 2674-Companion bill to SB 1672

 

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.

 

HB 3126-A violation of Raffle and Poker Runs Act is not grounds for suspension, denial, or revocation of a license under this Act.

 

HB 3604-Provides a specific exemption from a ban that prohibits the sale of alcohol under certain circumstances and locations in Chicago.

 

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.

 

HB 3625

This legislation proposes to expand the policing power of the ILCC. It would make enforcement agents officers, specifically, Peace Officers, and they would possess all the powers possessed by police officers and sheriffs. Further, the legislation mandates training standards.

The bill goes further and allows the ILCC investigator to conduct an investigation into anyone acting as an unlicensed distributor, retailer, or manufacturer, and then issue a cease and desist notice.

Finally, the legislation proposes to allow ILCC enforcement officers to make arrest and issue notices of civil violations.

 

Conclusion and Follow-up

Only time will tell what legislation passes and how the liquor world is affected.

If you need more information on the bills or in the future, want to know how they are progressing, please contact me at sean.oleary@olearylpgroup.com.

 

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