Previously, I gave a synopsis of important liquor bills in Illinois. Today, I provide an update. There is also a new bill on hemp regulation.

SB 3926-Would ban the sale of hemp products to anyone under 21 and require testing of hemp products. Concerns are arising because when infused with Delta 8, hemp products can become an intoxicant. Would also create a “hemp consumer products processor” and “hemp consumer products retailer” license.

Status-Introduced on April 10, 2024.

SB 3359

Update-The bill has two amendments. 1. Would make third-party retailer deliver exclusive state and local power and preempts home rule powers. 2. Takes out language about a debit card charge is required to be directly charged to the retail licensee and recorded as such on its receipts.

Status-Amended April 11, 2024, placed on calendar for third reading

Issuance of a third-party retail delivery license. This bill would drastically change the status quo of retail delivery in Illinois. A retailer could no longer rely on independent contractors to deliver alcohol. All third-party delivery companies must now be licensed under the bill and the exemption, which would allow an 18 year old to make deliveries would be removed.

The new bill would consider delivery personnel, as alcohol servers and would require all personnel to be BASSET certified.

Delivery could only be performed for off-premise retailers, delivery for manufacturers and on-premise retailers is prohibited.

The delivery fee is limited to what one could charge for non-alcoholic products and fee can’t be calculated as a percentage of alcoholic liquor sales.

The third-party delivery service is required to perform background checks on employees and must carry liability insurance.

The licensee would also be subject to the same Illinois of value regulations as the other three-tiers and the bill restricts them from maintaining an ownership interest in another licensed tier.

In addition, this bill would change the types of cocktails that are permitted to be delivered. Containers filled and labeled by the manufacturer and secured by its original unbroken seal would not be permitted.

The bill would prohibit third-party retailer licensees from delivering cocktails.

HB 4775

Status-April 5, 2024-re-referred to Rules Committee

It would alter the state happy hours laws, under the current regime, discounts must be uniform and discounts based on specific categories are not permitted. This bill would permit a licensed retailer or a manufacturer with retail privileges to offer a consumer loyalty and reward program. The programs would allow the consumer to access rewards for purchases made. Some of the benefits would include, products at a discount for promotional purposes, targeted discounts, membership programs offering discounts, point accumulation programs, and membership in privilege clubs such as a mug club.

Any retailer or manufacturer would be allowed to offer discounts as part of its loyalty program, and may offer benefits and reward programs that are not offered to other customers. For example, the retailer could offer specialty glassware as part of a program and offer a discount on additional purchases based on using the glassware.

Clearly this bill has provisions at odds with present Happy Hour rules and there would need to be reconciliation between the two provisions.

In another provision unrelated to this, this bill would allow special use or special event licensees the ability to sell alcohol for off-premise consumption.

SB 3358

Status- April 5, 2024 committee deadline established by May 3, 2024.

This bill creates a distillery shipper’s license for class 1 (under 50K production) or class 2 (under 100K production) craft distillers. The shipping amount would be limited to 12 cases per year. It also provides rights for a distilling pub to ship, to deliver alcohol within 12 hours from the time it leaves a distilling pub premises and to transfer product.

SB 2756

Status-April 5, 2024 committee deadline established by May 3, 2024.

creates a class 3 craft distiller license and distiller showcase permit, increases the production limits for a distilling pub licenses from 5,000 to 10,000 gallons.

The spirits show case permit would allow a craft distiller to transfer product from its premises to a designated site for a special event. Beer and wine maintain these privileges, spirits do not, this is a parody play.

Creates a class 3 craft distiller license for those manufacturing less than 100,000 gallons, the license would allow for 5,000 gallons of self-distributed product, full retail privileges at its facility, and the ability to transfer 5,000 gallons worth of product.

SB 3161-HB 4701

Status-HB4701-Re-referred to Rules Committee

Status SB 3161-At the subcommittee on liquor-committee deadline to make it out by May 3, 2024.

Attempts to implement the Uniform Alcohol Direct-Shipping Compliance Act into Illinois law. Would require fulfilment houses and other third-party providers register with the state and requires them to adhere to record and compliance requirements, even though the registration requirement is constitutionally suspect.

Would allow Illinois to prosecute its own licensees if they believe they violate the shipping laws of another state. Illinois authorities would judge according to the laws of the state they believe was violated.

SB 3245

Status- At the subcommittee on liquor-committee deadline to make it out by May 3, 2024.

It would expand full retail privileges to a Class 1 and Class 2 Brewers by allowing them to sell wine and spirits. Presently, their sales are limited to beer, cider, or mead.

Allows a brewer to contract with a management company to run its operations, even if the management company holds a retail license. Any agreement must be approved by the ILCC and the contact cannot be utilized as a way to get around providing a prohibited thing of value.

SB 2625-

Status-No Amendments to the bill, placed on the calendar for third reading has a good chance of passing

This bill expands the definition of alcoholic liquor and includes provision dealing with co-branded products, and a store’s responsibility with regards to placement.

The bill proposes to include alcohol-infused products, which the bill defines as frozen or unfrozen, solid or semi-solid food in the form other than liquor into the definition of “alcoholic liquor”

Co-branded alcoholic beverages are defined as alcoholic liquor “containing the same or similar brand name, logo, or packaging as a non-alcoholic beverage.”

Co-Branded products for a retailer with a space exceeding 2,500 square feet, cannot be displayed by products such as soft drinks, ice cream or snack food portraying cartoon images. Any co-branded products adjacent to the snack aisle, in order to alleviate confusion, must maintain a sign indicating that these products contain alcohol.