News:

Florida malt beverage suppliers and local bar owners are thrilled over the passage of House Bill 961, which creates an exception to Florida’s “tied house evil” prohibitions and amends Florida Statute 561.42 by allowing distributors to provide, and vendors, or retailers, to accept, branded glassware, free of charge. In general, Florida’s tied house statutes prohibit manufacturers, distributors, and importers from giving, and retailers from accepting, gifts, money, and other things of value in order to avoid the separate tiers from having a financial interest or “tie” to one another. The tied house statutes carve out certain exceptions, such as allowing suppliers to give neon or electric signs, window paintings, posters, placards, and other advertising material to vendors for use inside of their retail establishment. House Bill 961 adds to these exceptions by allowing malt beverage suppliers to provide their distributors with branded glassware that the distributors may, in turn, give to vendors licensed to sell malt beverages for on premise consumption, i.e., bars and restaurants. Each piece of glassware given to a bar or restaurant must bear supplier branding and distributors are limited to giving ten cases of glassware (twenty four pieces of glass per case, or two hundred and forty glasses) per retailer, per year. Vendors are prohibited from selling the glassware or returning it to a distributor for cash, credit, or a replacement. Suppliers, distributors, and retailers must maintain detailed records of the transactions for three years, even if no money is exchanged, such as keeping zero cost receipts. The…

This week, the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco announced that they will accept Quota Beverage License Drawing Entry Forms for forty five days, beginning on the third Monday in August.  The entry period began August 20, 2018, and runs until October 3, 2018 at 5:00 P.M. The lottery winners, drawn at random from the pool of applicants, will have the right to apply for alcohol beverage retail licenses which they can either use themselves to open an alcohol beverage retail establishment or resell to an interested buyer. The only way to obtain a quota license is by winning the lottery or buying one on the private market from someone who has already won one, so factors such as supply and demand and location can translate into a potential profit of over $100,000 for lottery winners willing to sell their license on the private market. Quota licenses authorize the sale of beer, wine and liquor and they are limited in the number permitted to be issued by county. Florida is one of seventeen states with quotas on the number of liquor licenses issued to applicants and for every 7,500 people residing in the county according to the census bureau, one quota license may be issued. However, the county must allow the sale of intoxicating liquor in order for a quota license to be issued within that county. For a new quota license, there is an annual license fee which varies by county, and a one-time Hughes Act fee of $10,750 which is slated for alcohol and drug abuse education, treatment and prevention programs.  Applications, along…

The Florida House of Representatives recently amended Florida Statute 561.57 which now takes into account the growing popularity of alcohol delivery services, including online orders and third-party delivery services. Previously, the law did not acknowledge that electronic orders made online constituted a sale made at the vendors place of business. Now, subsection (1) recognizes that electronic orders constitute a sale actually made at the vendors licensed place of business and that deliveries may be made by both the vendor in vehicles that are owned or leased by the vendor or in a third-party vehicle pursuant to a contract with a third party with whom the vendor has contracted to make deliveries, including, but not limited to, common carriers. Formerly, common carriers were not allowed to make deliveries directly to customers, greatly limiting the volume of alcohol deliveries that could be made. However, manufacturers and distributors are still not afforded the privilege of third-party delivery services and can only deliver alcohol in vehicles that are owned or leased by the licensee. Lastly, subsection (6) was newly added to highlight the importance of the continuing duty of both vendors and third-party delivery companies to request valid proof of the recipient’s identity and age at the time of delivery, just as age age verification is mandated at the vendors physical location. These changes will take effect July 1, 2018.

Posted in alcohol beverage law, Florida, Three Tier System | Tagged Delivery, Florida | Comments Off