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2010 Alcohol Tax Legislative Update

In 2010, the Maryland General Assembly passed and the Governor signed the following statewide and local bills related to alcohol tax regulation and enforcement:  For more information, visit the Maryland General Assembly’s Web site.

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

STATEWIDE:

 

Chapter 355 - Senate Bill 858 – Maryland Winery Modernization Act

 

This bill expands the scope of the Class 4 Limited Winery Manufacturer license issued by the Comptroller. Currently, under Article 2B, § 2-205, a limited winery may sell up to one quart of each brand of wine and pomace brandy, and serve free samples of up to 6 ounces of wine and pomace brandy to a person participating in a guided tour of the facility. Also, a limited winery may sell wine and pomace brandy by the glass wine to a person participating in a guided tour of the facility or attending a scheduled promotional event or other organized activity at the licensed premises. Senate Bill 858 repeals these provisions, and authorizes a limited winery to sell wine and pomace brandy and provide samples for consumption off-premises from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Samples are limited to 2 ounces per brand of wine and pomace brandy. The sale of wine and pomace brandy for consumption on-premises, and the sale of certain food is permitted between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., or may be extended to 10:00 p.m. if there is a planned promotional event or other organized activity.

 

A limited winery may sell or serve certain kinds of food usually considered snacks or hor d’oeuvres, such as bread, chili, crackers, fruits, cheese, pizza, soup; and certain products made with Maryland wine, such as ice cream, jelly, jam, and vinegar.

 

The amount of pomace brandy that a limited winery can distill and bottle each year is increased from 200 gallons to 1,900 gallons.  Under this bill, a limited winery may purchase bulk wine fermented by another licensed manufacturer for blending so long as the total purchase does not exceed 25% of the limited winery’s annual wine and pomace brandy production. Also, a limited winery may produce wine and pomace brandy at a warehouse to which an individual storage permit has been issued.  No wine or pomace brandy may be sold or served to the public at the warehouse. 

 

Winemaking and packaging activities are permitted at a federally bonded winery or limited winery in Maryland, or at a federally bonded winery outside of the State so long as the limited winery maintains ownership of the wine and pomace brandy and ensures its return to the licensed premises.

 

The bill also establishes a Farmer’s Market Permit to be issued by the Comptroller to a retail licensee authorized to sell alcoholic beverages off-premises. The permit may be used only at a Farmer’s Market listed on the Farmer’s Market Directory of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.  Class 4 limited wineries may not be issued a permit; however, only wine produced by a Class 4 limited winery may be sold under the Farmer’s Market Permit. Only one permit may be issued for each Farmer’s Market. The permittee may sell sealed containers of wine for off-premise consumption, and provide free samples of wine limited to 1 ounce per brand for on-premise consumption.

 

The Comptroller is required to submit a report to the General Assembly by December 31, 2010 about the viability and efficacy of instituting in Maryland the policy of permitting direct shipment of wine to consumers. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

LOCAL:

 

Chapter 172 - House Bill 1531 – City of Annapolis – Alcoholic Beverages – Renewal of Licenses

 

This bill authorizes the Mayor, Counselor, and Aldermen of the City of Annapolis to establish a periodic basis for payments of renewal license fees for retail licenses issued by the Board of License Commissioners for the City of Annapolis. EMERGENCY LEGISLATION EFFECTIVE APRIL 13, 2010

 

Chapter 444 – House Bill 947 – Anne Arundel County – Alcoholic Beverages – Tasting Licenses

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners for Anne Arundel County to issue a Class BWST cordial, beer, and wine (on-premises) tasting license to a holder of a Class BWL beer, wine and liquor (on-premises) license. The BWST licensee may for tasting and sampling serve the following to each person: liquor of not more than one-half ounce from each of any of five brands, serve light wine of not more than 1 ounce from each brand, and beer of not more than 3 ounces. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 226 - Senate Bill 120 – Baltimore City – Alcoholic Beverages – Beer,   Wine, and Liquor Tasting License

 

This bill authorizes the Board of Liquor License Commissioners in Baltimore City to issue a Class BWLT beer, wine, and liquor (on-premises) tasting license to a holder of a Class A beer, wine and liquor license in the 44th precinct of the 41st Legislative District of Baltimore City. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 285 – Senate Bill 377 – Baltimore City – Alcoholic Beverages – Class C Licensees to Reimburse Board for Costs

 

This bill authorizes the Baltimore City Board of Liquor License Commissioners to collect reimbursement of costs for monitoring an event of a Class C special beer, wine and liquor licensee. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 302 - Senate Bill 456 – Chapter 303 - House Bill 279 – Baltimore City – Park Heights Redevelopment Area – Alcoholic Beverages – Store Opening Hours

 

This bill specifies that alcoholic beverages sold at retail in the Park Heights Redevelopment Area in Baltimore City may begin at 9:00 a.m. each day, rather than the 6:00 a.m., for the following licenses:  Class B-D-7, Class A beer and light wine, Class D beer and light wine, Class A beer, wine and liquor, and Class B beer, wine and liquor, and Class D beer, wine and liquor. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 550 - Senate Bill 376 – Chapter 551 - House Bill 1326 – Baltimore City – Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages – Unlicensed Restaurants

 

This bill changes the definition of a “bottle club” in Baltimore City by limiting it to an unlicensed restaurant, and requiring that the alcoholic beverage brought to the restaurant be consumed with a meal. The registration requirement for bottles clubs is repealed, but the Baltimore City Police Department is given authority to immediately close all operations of an establishment that violates these provisions and poses a threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. The owner of the establishment may request a prompt hearing in Circuit Court to determine when the establishment may reopen. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 171– House Bill 1496 – Baltimore County – Alcoholic Beverages – Tasting Licenses - Fees

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Baltimore County to issue a 104-day tasting license for a fee of $400 annually to holders of a Class BWT beer and light wine (on-premises) tasting license, or a Class BWLT beer, wine, and liquor (on-premises) tasting license.  EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 227 – Senate Bill 122 – Chapter 228 - House Bill 391 - Baltimore County – Towson Commercial Revitalization District – Alcoholic Beverages Licenses - Restaurants

 

This bill alters the minimum capital investment requirement for transfers of a Class B or Class D license and the issuance of a Class B beer, wine and liquor (TCRD) license in the Towson Commercial Revitalization District by distinguishing between seven restaurant licenses or less transferred or issued, where the capital requirement remains $500,000, and three restaurant licenses or less transferred or issued, where the capital requirement is between $50,000 and $400,000, provided the restaurant operation maintains average daily receipts from the sale of food at 70%, a maximum seating capacity of 100 persons, and a minimum seating capacity of 40 persons. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 456 - House Bill 1114 – Carroll County – Alcoholic Beverages – Sale of Wine for Off-Premises Consumption

 

This bill allows a Class B beer, wine and liquor licensee to sell wine for off-premises consumption on any day of the week if the area used for the preparation and consumption of food and beverages occupies at least 90% of the total square footage of the licensed premises, and no more than 6 bottles of wine are sold to an individual at one time. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 154 - House Bill 535 – Cecil County – Alcoholic Beverages – Entertainment Facility License

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners for Cecil County to issue a Class EF (entertainment facility) beer, wine and liquor license. A Class EF licensee may sell beer, wine, and liquor by the brink and by the bottle from one or more outlets in the entertainment facility for on-premise consumption. The applicant must have at least a $35,000 capital investment in the facility. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 11 - Senate Bill 41 – Dorchester County – Alcoholic Beverages Clubs – Membership

 

This bill reduces the membership requirements for certain fraternal and armed forces organizations who apply for a Class C beer, wine and liquor license authorizing the sale at retail for on-premises consumption. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 206 – Senate Bill 47 – Dorchester County - Alcoholic Beverages – Restaurant Seating Capacity

 

This bill changes the minimum seating capacity required for a Class B beer, wine, and liquor (on-sale) license for hotels and restaurants from 75 to 50. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 244 - Senate Bill 194 – Dorchester County – Alcoholic Beverages – Pub-Brewery and Micro-Brewery Licenses

 

This bill adds an additional exception to Article 2B, § 12-104(b), which prohibits a manufacturer or wholesaler from having a financial interest in a retailer. Under the bill, the Comptroller may issue to a single applicant one Class 6 pub-brewery license or one Class 7 micro-brewery license but not both for a location in an enterprise zone in Dorchester County if the applicant holds no more than three Class B beer, wine and liquor licenses. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 297 – Senate Bill 449 - Frederick County – Alcoholic Beverages – Sales Hours

 

This bill alters the hours of sale for a Class A beer (off-sale) licensee, Class A beer and light wine (off-sale) licensee, Class A beer, wine and liquor (off-sale) licensee, a special Sunday permit for a Class A beer, wine and liquor (off-sale) licensee, a special Sunday permit to a Class A beer and wine (off-sale) licensee, and a special Sunday permit to a Class A beer (off-sale) licensee.  EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 148 – House Bill 400 - Garrett County – Wine Festival License – Qualifications – Hearing and Notice

 

This bill expands those who may apply for the one annual wine festival license issued by the Board of License Commissioners for Garrett County by including those who qualify for any type of a special Class C license. The Board is required to hold a hearing for each application for a wine festival license and publish notice of an application one time at least 7 days before the hearing in the newspaper. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 43 - Senate Bill 153 – Harford County – Liquor Control Board   Membership – Nomination Process

 

This bill alters the nomination process to the Harford County Liquor Control Board for an expired term or other vacancy by changing the list of nominees the County Executive presents to the Harford County Delegation of the Maryland General Assembly from three to one. The existing procedures of acceptance or rejection by the Harford County Delegation, and required consent of County Council continue to apply. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2010

 

Chapter 161 -  House Bill 717 – Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Class A Licenses – Findings

 

This bill requires the Board of License Commissioners for Howard County to include in its written decision regarding a Class A license application the factors set forth in Article 2B, § 10-202(A)(2)(i). EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 162 - House Bill 730 – Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages Act of 2010

 

This bill establishes a Class B special beer and wine (B-SBW)(off-sale) license authorizing the holder to sell beer and wine for off-premise consumption to persons who have purchased food or alcohol on the licensed premises. The B-SBW license may be issued only to a Class B beer, wine and liquor (7-day)(on-sale) licensee (restaurant). Beer and wine may not be displayed for off-premise sale. Also, the bill allows a Class A, B, or C licensee to employ an individual who is at least 18 years old to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 169 - House Bill 1205 – Montgomery County – Alcoholic Beverages License Fees – Repeal of Sunset

 

This bill repeals the termination date of June 30, 2010 for the issuance of a Class B beer, wine and liquor license for hotels and restaurants, and a Class B beer, wine and liquor license for a performing arts facility in Montgomery County as provided for in Article 2B, § 6-201(q). EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 440 – House Bill 823 – Montgomery County – Winery Special Event Permits – Farmers’ Markets

 

In addition to the 12 winery special event permits that may be issued to a Class 4 limited winery, this bill authorizes the Comptroller to issue up to 12 winery special event permits to a Class 4 limited winery for use at a Farmer’s Market in Montgomery County. The permittee may not sell wine by the glass, and alcohol awareness certification is required for the permittee and the Farmer’s Market administrator. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 42 – Senate Bill 151 – Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Class B-AE (Arts and Entertainment) License

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Prince George’s County to issue a Class B-AE (Arts and Entertainment) beer, wine and liquor license to an establishment in the Prince George’s County Arts and Entertainment District. The licensee may sell beer, wine, and liquor for on-premise consumption. No more than 2 Class B-AE licenses may be issued to a person. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2010

 

Chapter 156  - House Bill 567 – Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – License Fees and Salaries of Inspectors

 

This bill increases the annual license fees in Prince George’s County for many and various retail licenses; repeals the Class B beer, wine and liquor license (“arena license”); increases the alcoholic content from 14% to 15.5% for wine provided under the wine tasting (WT) license; and establishes an annual salary of $10,900 for inspectors removing the amount of salary from the discretion of the County Council.     

EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 157 - House Bill 573 – Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages –           Class A/Class 4 Light Wine Licenses

 

This bill adds Prince George’s County to the list of counties authorized to issue a Class A light wine license to a Class 4 limited winery. The Class A/Class 4 license is exempt from quotas established by the Board of License Commissioners for Prince George’s County for the election district where the winery is located. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 158 - House Bill 574 – Prince George’s County – National Harbor – Alcoholic Beverages – Restriction on License Holder

 

This bill prohibits the Board of License Commissioners for Prince George’s County from issuing a special 3-day Class C beer, wine and liquor license to a nonprofit organization for use at the National Harbor for more than 2 consecutive years. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 420 – House Bill 559 – Prince George’s County – Winery Special Event Permits – Farmers’ Markets

 

In addition to the 12 winery special event permits that may be issued to a Class 4 limited winery, this bill authorizes the Comptroller to issue up to 12 winery special event permits to a Class 4 limited winery for use at a Farmer’s Market in Prince George’s County. The permittee may not sell wine by the glass, and alcohol awareness certification is required for the permittee and the Farmer’s Market administrator. EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 422 – House Bill 570 – Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Extinguishment of Licenses

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Prince George’s County to issue a Class A license for purposes of having the license extinguished when the licensee has possession. Within 10 days of possession, the licensee must surrender the license to the Board, and provide evidence that all taxes or obligations to wholesalers or other persons have been paid. This Class A license will count towards the maximum number of Class A licenses that may be issued. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 423 – House Bill 571 – Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages Licenses – Waterfront Entertainment Retail Complex

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners for Prince George’s County to issue a special Class D beer and wine license to an establishment in a waterfront entertainment retail complex defined in the county zoning ordinance, or an individual or entity that holds an event in the property of a conceptual site plan at least part of which includes a waterfront entertainment retail complex. The licensee may sell beer and wine on-premises and off-premises 7 days a week.   EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 425 - House Bill 582 – Prince George’s County – Issuance of Alcoholic Beverages Licenses and Park Permits– Notification

 

This bill requires the Board of License Commissioners of Prince George’s County when issuing a special Class C beer, wine and liquor license to notify the Chief of Police, the Fire Chief, the Director of the Department of Environmental Resources, and if applicable, the municipal corporation where the event will occur, regarding the time, place, and expected size of event. Also, when a use and occupancy permit is issued allowing public entertainment to be held for an association, club, society, or other organization, the following must be notified: Board of License Commissioners for Prince George’s County, Chief of Police, the Fire Chief, Director of the Department of Environmental Resources, and if applicable, the municipal corporation where the entertainment will occur.  EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2010

 

Chapter 475 - House Bill 1478 – Prince George’s County – Beer, Wine, and Liquor Tastings

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners in Prince George’s County to issue a beer tasting license, and a beer/wine tasting to holders of a beer, wine and liquor (BWL) or a beer and wine (BW) license. A Class B beer licensee may obtain a beer tasting license. The beer tasting or beer/wine tasting licensee may not serve more than 3 ounces from each brand of beer, and no more than 1 ounce from each brand of wine, to any one person. The Board is also authorized to issue a beer, wine, and liquor tasting (BWLT) license to a holder of a beer, wine and liquor license. The BWLT licensee may provide one-half of an ounce of liquor from a brand and 1.5 ounces from all brands to any one person in a single day for tasting and sampling. Quantity limitations applicable to the consumption of beer and wine apply to the BWLT tasting license. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 684 - House Bill 558 – Prince George’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Entertainment Permit

 

This bill authorizes the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Prince George’s County issue a special entertainment permit to a holder of a Class B (on-sale) license. Before issuing the permit, the Board is required to hold a public hearing to determine whether the permit should be issued. The permittee may from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. impose a cover charge, offer facilities for patron dancing, and provide entertainment. An applicant must submit a security plan to the Board and the Chief of the Prince George’s County Police Department. If necessary, the Circuit Court may issue a temporary restraining order to immediately close the premises if there is a threat to public health, safety, or welfare. A permittee is give due process rights if action is taken by the Board or Circuit Court. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 170 - House Bill 1309 – Somerset and Worcester Counties – Liquor Control Boards – Ethics

 

This bill includes the Liquor Control Board for Somerset County and the Liquor Control Board for Worcester County in the definition of “executive unit” for purposes of the Maryland Public Ethics Law to make clear that this law applies to the liquor control boards. EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2010

 

Chapter 675 - House Bill 451 - Somerset County – Alcoholic Beverages – Sales to Underage Drinkers – Local Caterer’s License Created

 

This bill authorized the Board of License Commissioner for Somerset County to issue a local caterer’s license to a holder of a Class B restaurant or hotel (on-sale) beer and light wine license, or a Class B restaurant or hotel (on-sale) beer, wine and liquor license. The caterer’s licensee may provide alcoholic beverages allowed under the Class B license for off-premise consumption at a catered event where food is served.

 

In addition, this bill adds Somerset County to the list of counties where the granting of probation before judgment to a licensee or employee of a licensee for violating the prohibition of alcoholic beverage sales to minors or intoxicated persons does not bar the Board of Licensee Commissioners from taking administrative action against the licensee. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 360 – Senate Bill 904 – St. Mary’s County – Alcoholic Beverages – Class A Off-Sale License Quota

 

This bill prohibits the Board of License Commissioners for St. Mary’s County from issuing more than one Class A retail off-sale license for each unit of 1,350 people in each election district using the most recent St. Mary’s County Planning Commission Annual Report for population figures. This quota limit applies to transfers of licenses among election districts. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 411 (House Bill 399) – Washington County – Alcoholic Beverages – Beer Tasting License

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County to issue a beer tasting (BT) license to a holder of a Class A or Class B beer and wine (BW) license, or a Class A or Class B beer, wine and liquor (BWL) license. The BT license allows consumption of beer for tasting only at no charge. The Board shall regulate the quantity of beer served, and the number and size of bottles. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 245 – Senate Bill 195 – Wicomico County - Alcoholic Beverages – Micro-Brewery Licenses

 

This bill adds Wicomico County to the list of jurisdictions where a Class 7 micro-brewery license may be issued by the Comptroller. This Class 7 micro-brewery license provides the holder with on-sale and off-sale privileges. The Class 7 licensee must have a Class B beer, wine and liquor (on-sale) license for use on the premises of a restaurant, and under the Class 7, may sell at retail up to 4,000 barrels of beer annually for on-premise consumption. The Class 7 licensee may sell at retail for consumption off-premises beer in refillable containers sealed by the micro-brewery licensee at the time of each refill.  EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010

 

Chapter 419 - House Bill 551 – Wicomico County Alcoholic Beverages Act of 2010

 

This bill authorizes the Board of License Commissioners for Wicomico County to issue a beer tasting (BT) license and a beer and wine tasting (BWT) tasting license to a Class A beer and wine (off-sale) licensee, or a Class A beer, wine and liquor (off-sale) licensee. An individual may be served for on-premises consumption a tasting or sampling of not more than 1 ounce of wine from each brand, and 3 ounces of beer from each brand. No more than 6 bottles of wine may be open at any one time at a wine or beer and wine sampling or tasting event, and no more than 6 containers of beer may be open at any one time at a beer or beer and wine sampling or tasting event.  The Board must receive 5 days notice before an event.

 

Also, the bill repeals the requirement that a Class B beer, wine and liquor licensee, who obtains a Class 7 micro-brewery license under Article 2B, § 12-104(e)(5)(ii), may only sell beer for off-premises consumption to a licensed wholesaler. Under Article 2B, § 12-104(e)(5)(iii), a Class 6 pub-brewery license or Class 7 micro-brewery license may be issued to a Class B beer, wine and liquor licensee for a location in any enterprise zone in Wicomico County, not only the City of Salisbury.

 

Finally, a provision is added to Article 2B, § 12-302 allowing an individual who is at least 16 years of age and has a work permit to be employed at a licensed premise to stock alcoholic beverages or clear tables and bar areas. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010.

 

Chapter 470 - House Bill 1431 – Worcester County – Alcoholic Beverages  – Pub-Breweries and Micro-Breweries

 

This bill adds Worcester County to the list of counties where a Class 6 pub-brewery license and a Class 7 micro-brewery license may be issued by the Comptroller. It also adds Worcester County to the list of counties that allow a Class 7 micro-brewery licensee to sell at retail beer brewed on the licensed premise for off-premise consumption in refillable containers sealed at the time of refill. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2010



 
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