ABC OMNIBUS REGULATORY REFORM.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 536 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 2, 2019
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS REVISIONS TO THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL LAWS OF THIS STATE.
Intro. by McGrady, Boles, Fisher, Hardister.

Status: Re-ref Com On Finance (House action) (May 1 2019)

SOG comments (1):

Identical bill

Identical to S 592, filed 4/3/19.

H 536

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: May 1 2019 - More information

    House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Part I.

    Makes additional changes to GS 18B-1303(b) to make the language gender-neutral.

    Part II.

    Modifies and makes clarifying changes to the proposed changes to GS 18B-1104(a) concerning the authorization to receive and sell malt beverages produced inside or outside the state under contract with a contract brewery. Now provides that the contract brewery that manufactures the malt beverages is responsible for all aspects associated with manufacturing the product. Establishes that, subject to the rules of the ABC Commission (Commission) and the Department of Revenue (Department), the brewery, not the contract brewery, is responsible for registering the contracted product with the Commission, submitting the appropriate reports regarding the malt beverages, and remitting the appropriate taxes if required by rule (clarifying previously proposed language; was not previously subject to Commission or Department rules).

    Part VII.

    Amends GS 130A-248 to exclude from the scope of the sanitation laws of Article 8 any ABC permitted establishment which prepares or serves food or drink to the public that meets the definition of bar. Adds bar to the defined terms set forth in GS 130A-247 and defines the term by referencing the definition set forth in GS Chapter 18B. Makes conforming changes to exempt bars from the provisions of Part 6, Regulation of Food and Lodging Facilities, of Article 8.

    Part XI.

    Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 18B-1005.1, regarding certain unlawful conduct or entertainment on a licensed premises.

    Part XII.

    Modifies proposed GS 18B-1010, which authorizes the sale and delivery by certain ABC permit holders, to no longer exclude from the authorization sales at a stadium, athletic facility, arena, or other establishment with a seating capacity of 3,000 or more.

    Part XV.

    Amends GS 18B-802, to now provide that the only authorized operating hours of an ABC store are between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday (previously provided 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Monday through Saturday and 12:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday as prohibited hours).

    Part XVI.

    Further amends GS 18B-1114.7(b) to add that any consumer tasting conducted in an ABC store is the sole responsibility of the permit holder. Further, prohibits local ABC board employees from participating in or conducting a tasting in an ABC store. 

    Part XVII.

    Amends proposed GS 18B-404, which allows for the electronic payment for spirituous liquor purchased by a mixed beverages permittee, by amending the definition of the term electronic payment to now mean payment by charge card, credit card, debit card, or by electronic funds transfer.

    Changes the effective date of the statute from July 1, 2019, to October 1, 2019.

    Part XVIII.

    Amends proposed GS 18B-907, which allows for the electronic submission of payments and forms, by amending the definition of the term electronic payment to now mean payment by charge card, credit card, debit card, or by electronic funds transfer. No longer specifies that the fee that may be charged to cover costs if processing forms and accepting payment electronically is exempt as otherwise provided in GS 18B-404(e).

    Part XX.

    Amends proposed GS 18B-1001.4 by adding that a delivery service permittee must not deliver alcoholic beverages to a residence hall located on the premises of an institution of higher education, unless the governing body of that institution of higher education has given the permittee written authorization to do so. Makes additional clarifying changes to the statute. Makes the statute and the changes to GS 18B-902, which added a $400 delivery service permit fee, effective October 1, 2019.

    Part XXI.

    Adds a new Part to the act that amends GS 18B-1104 as follows. Allows a brewery permit holder to sell the malt beverages owned by the brewery at the brewery for on or off-premise consumption upon obtaining the appropriate permit, regardless of the results of any local malt beverage elections. Makes a conforming deletion by removing the provision that allowed, in an area where the sale of malt beverages has not been authorized, the permit holder that was a brewery producing agricultural products used by the brewery in the manufacture of malt beverages to sell the beverages when receiving specified approval for the city or county’s governing board. Effective October 1, 2019. Makes conforming changes to the act by renumbering the existing parts.


  • Summary date: Apr 3 2019 - More information

    Part I

    Amends GS 18B-1303, concerning malt beverage distribution, to allow retail permit holder private label brands to be sold exclusively to the retailer that owns the brand name or to all retail permit holders within each territory without discrimination, at the retail permit holder's discretion. Defines retail permit holder to mean a malt beverage product that is labeled with a brand name owned by a retailer. 

    Part II

    Amends GS 18B-1104 regarding the authorizations of a brewery permit. Concerning the authorization to receive and sell malt beverages produced inside or outside the State under contract with a contract brewery, clarifies that the brewery that contracted with the contract brewery, which manufactures the malt beverage, must obtain label approval and remit the appropriate taxes. Applies to taxes collected on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part III

    Amends GS 18B-1114.5, regarding the authorizations of a malt beverage special event permit, to authorize the permit holder to give free tastings, sell branded merchandise, and sell its malt beverages by the glass or in closed containers at farmers' markets.

    Part IV

    Amends GS 18B-1001(1), concerning on-premises malt beverage permit holders. Expands the authorization of on-premises malt beverage permit holders to allow permittees to transfer malt beverages to another on-premises malt beverage permittee that is under common ownership or control of the transferor. Limits the permittee to no more than four such transfers per calendar year. Clarifies that other transfers by on-premises malt beverage permittees , the purchase of malt beverages by a retail permittee from another retail permittee for the purpose of resale, and the sale of malt beverages by a retail permittee to another retail permittee for the purpose of resale is unlawful. Restricts authorized transfers of a particular brand of malt beverages to transferors and transferees located within the territory designated between the brewery and the wholesaler on file with the ABC Commission (Commission). Requires the transferor to notify each wholesaler who distributes the product of the transfer prior to or contemporaneous with the transfer, in writing or verifiable electronic format, and identifying the transferor, the transferee, the transfer date, quantity, and items transferred. Makes identical additions to expand the authorizations for off-premises malt beverage permit holders set out in GS 18B-1001(2) to allow for the transfer of malt beverages from the permittee to another off-premises malt beverage permittee, subject to the same restrictions and requirements.

    Part V

    Amends GS 18B-1006, which prohibits the issuance of permits for the sale of alcoholic beverages to a business on the campus or property of a public school, college, or university. Adds new subdivision (a)(9) to the prohibition's exemptions, now exempting a stadium, athletic facility, or arena on the campus or property of a public college or university, so long as the Board of Trustees of the public college or university has voted to allow the issuance of permits for use at said facility. Requires that if a Board of Trustees votes to allow the issuance of permits for the sale of alcoholic beverages at stadiums, athletic facilities, and arenas, then the Board must provide written notice to the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission that it has voted to allow the issuance of permits. Specifies that the term "public college or university" does not include a community college. Specifically authorizes permits described in GS 18B-1001 (identifying 20 types of permits, including malt beverage permits, unfortified wine permits, and tasting permits), GS 18B-1002(a)(2) (one-time permits for nonprofits for fund-raising events), or GS 18B-1002(a)(5) (one-time permits for local government, nonprofit, or political organizations for fund raising events). Adds that (a)(9) does not apply to any sales authorized under (a)(1)-(8) (which list other exceptions to the prohibition on issuing a permit for the sale of alcoholic beverages to a business on the campus or property of a public school, college, or university). Limits the premises of a stadium, athletic facility, or arena to include any area that meets three criteria, including designation on a map or written description clearly defining the boundary area, and includes the map or written description in the permit application. Specifies that the subdivsion does not authorize the sale of mixed beverages when the stadium, athletic facility, or arena is being used for a sports event sponsored by the public college or university. Makes conforming changes.

    Part VI

    Amends GS 18B-108 regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages on trains. Limits the sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages to rail line officers and agents to licensed wholesalers (was licensed wholesalers and retailers). Expands the statute to authorize alcoholic beverages to be sold on ferries established pursuant to Article 6, GS Chapter 136, upon compliance with Article 2C of GS Chapter 105 (Alcoholic Beverage License and Excise Taxes). Limits the authorization to the passenger-only ferry traveling from Hatteras to Ocracoke and does not include the return trip from Ocracoke to Hatteras. Authorizes specified alcoholic beverages to be sold and delivered to an officer or agent of the Department of Transportation (DOT) for sale on the ferry, but limits the sale and delivery to wholesalers whose designated territory includes the Hatteras Ferry Terminal. Deems railroad trains and the ferry authorized to sell under the statute a licensed premises for which an ABC permit has been issued for purposes of GS 18B-502, concerning inspections. Authorizes the ABC Commission to consult with DOT and adopt rules regulating sales on trains and the ferry. Applies to sales made on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part VII

    Amends GS 18B-1001 to allow bars to obtain an on-premises malt beverage permit, on-premises unfortified wine permit, on-premises fortified wine permit, brown-bagging permit, special occasion permit, and mixed beverages permit. Defines bar under GS 18B-1000 as an establishment substantially engaged in the business of serving alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises. Requires that in order to qualify as a bar that the establishment's gross receipts from alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises be no less than 75% of the establishment's total gross receipts.

    Part VIII

    Amends GS 18B-1105 regarding the authorization of distillery permit holders to allow them to sell, deliver, and ship spirituous liquor in closed containers at wholesale or retail to consumers in other states or nations, subject to the laws of other jurisdictions. Applies to sales made on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part IX

    Amends GS 18B-1105 to allow distillery permit holders to sell spirituous liquor distilled at the distillery in closed containers to visitors for consumption off the premises, no longer requiring that the visitors tour the distillery. Removes the limit of no more than five bottles per 12-month period. Makes conforming changes. Makes the provision concerning the price of spirituous liquor sold at a distillery applicable to all sales of spirituous liquor distilled at the permit holder's distillery.  

    Amends GS 18B-1116, which makes it unlawful for any manufacturer, bottler, or wholesaler of alcoholic beverages or specified affiliates to directly or indirectly take specified actions, including (1) having any direct or indirect financial interest in the business of any alcoholic beverage retailer in this state or in the premises where the business of any alcoholic beverage retailer in this state is conducted or (2) lending or giving any alcoholic beverage retailer in this state, their employee, or the owner of the premises where the business of any alcoholic beverage retailer in this state is conducted any money, service, equipment, furniture, fixtures, or any other thing of value. Adds that a distillery is not subject to these provisions concerning financial interests in, and lending or giving things of value to, a retailer with respect to the distillery's transactions with the retail business allowed on its premises.

    Applies to sales made on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part X

    Requires the ABC Commission to implement the Discount Rule (14B NCAC 15B .1004) by limiting a combination of the use of a coupon, rebate, or a permittee's loyalty card, discount card, or membership card to no more than 35% of the advertised retail price for the purchase of a malt beverage or wine, and prohibiting a coupon or rebate, or a loyalty card, discount card, or membership card from providing a discount exceeding 35% of the advertised retail price for the purchase of a malt beverage or wine. Requires the ABC Commission to adopt temporary rules to comply with the provision, and adopt permanent rules consistent with the provisions no later than September 1, 2019.

    Part XI

    Amends GS 18B-101 to now define premises to mean a fixed permanent establishment, including all areas inside or outside the licensed establishment, where the permittee has control through a lease, deed, or other legal process. 

    Amends GS 18B-1005.1 to specify that it is unlawful for a permittee or permittee's agent or employer to knowingly allow or engage in any conduct or entertainment on a licensed premises where human genitals are exposed or a person is wearing transparent clothing that reveals his or her genitals (previously did not specify the prohibited conduct be on the licensed premises; previously also prohibited conduct or entertainment that included or simulated sexually explicit conduct, as specified). 

    Applies to offenses committed on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part XII

    Enacts GS 18B-1010, authorizing the sale and delivery by the holder of an on-premises malt beverage permit, on-premises wine permit, on-premises fortified wine permit, or mixed beverages permit of one alcoholic beverage drink at a time to a single patron for consumption on the premises. Limits the authorization to no more than four alcoholic beverage drinks. Excludes from the authorization sales at a stadium, athletic facility, or arena on the campus or property of a public college or university; during a sports event sponsored by a public college or university; and a stadium, athletic facility, arena, or other establishment with a seating capacity of 3,000 or more.

    Applies to sales made on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part XIII

    Repeals GS 18B-308, which made it unlawful to sell or consume alcoholic beverages at bingo games. Makes conforming repeals of GS 14-309.14(3). Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-112(b)(3).

    Applies to offenses committed on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part XIV

    Amends GS 130A-250 to exempt licensed breweries not engaged in the preparation of food on the premises from food and lodging facility public health regulations under Part 6, Article 8, of GS Chapter 130A. Specifies that food does not include beverages. Provides a saving clause for penalties imposed and fees charged before the effective date of the Section.

    Part XV

    Amends GS 18B-802, to now provide that the prohibited operating hours of an ABC store are between 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday (previously, specified 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., and required local boards to otherwise determine opening and closing hours of its stores).

    Enacts GS 153A-145.9 (concerning counties) and GS 160A-205.5 (concerning cities) to authorize a county or city to adopt an ordinance authorizing its ABC stores to be open, and authorizing ABC store employees to sell alcoholic beverages, on any or all days otherwise prohibited under GS 18B-802(b) (which prohibits opening and sales on Sunday, New Year's Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day). Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-802.

    Part XVI

    Amends GS 18B-1114.7 to allow the holders of a supplier representative permit, brokerage representative permit, or distillery permit to obtain a spirituous liquor special event permit allowing the permittee to give free tastings at ABC stores where the local ABC board has approved the tastings (in addition to the already allowed trade shows, conventions, shopping malls, street festivals, holiday festivals, agricultural festivals, balloon races, local fund-raisers, and similar events). Also requires the Commission, for tastings in an ABC store, to establish and implement a policy whereby distillery permit holders are given the right of first refusal for a certain number of the dates and times made available in a month by the local board for holding tastings, as determined by the ABC Commission. Requires the policy to set forth the date for each month by which a distillery permit holder can exercise the right before the reserved dates and times are made available to all eligible spirituous special event permit holders. Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-301. 

    Part XVII

    Amends GS 18B-404 to require local boards to accept electronic payments for spirituous liquor purchased by a mixed beverage permittee. Prohibits the board from charging an electronic payment fee. Defines electronic payment. Applies to sales made on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part XVIII

    Enacts GS 18B-907 to require the ABC Commission to make all permitting forms available on its website, and to allow for electronic submission of permit forms to the extent practicable. Provides for submissions with electronic signatures. Requires the Commission to accept electronic payment for any permit fees under the Chapter. Defines electronic payment. Authorizes the Commission to charge a fee not exceeding $5 to cover costs incurred in accepting and processing electronic payments. Applies to permits applied for on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part XIX

    Amends GS 18B-1001 by creating a common area entertainment permit to be issued to the owner of a multi-tenant establishment that has at least two tenants that holds an on-premises malt beverage permit, on-premises unfortified wine permit, on-premises fortified wine permit, or mixed beverages permit. The permit allows the customer of a multi-tenant establishment tenant holding one of those specified permit types to exit the licensed premises with an open container of alcohol sold by the tenant and consume the beverage within the confines of any common area on the premises of the multi-tenant establishment designated for such consumption. Defines a multi-tenant establishment as a building or structure, or multiple buildings and structures, on the same property and under common ownership or control, that contain or contains multiple businesses that sell food, goods, services, or a combination of food, goods, and services, and that are connected by common areas. Sets out eight additional conditions that apply to a common area entertainment permit, including that alcoholic beverages sold for consumption in a designated common area must be dispensed only in a paper or plastic cup bearing the name, logo, or name and logo of the licensed premises from which the beverage was purchased and limits the amount to 16 fluid ounces; prohibits a customer from possessing or consuming more than one alcoholic beverage at a time while within the designated common area; and requires a customer in the designated common area to dispose of any alcoholic beverage prior to exiting the designated common area.

    Amends GS 18B-902 by setting the permit fee at $750.

    Part XX

    Enacts GS 18B-1001.4, authorizing the holder of a delivery service permit, the holder's employee, or an independent contractor to deliver malt beverages, unfortified wine, or fortified wine to a location designated by the purchaser on behalf of the retailer holding an on-premises malt beverage permit, off-premises malt beverage permits, on-premises unfortified wine permit, off-premises unfortified wine permit, on-premises fortified wine permit, off-premises fortified wine permit, and a wine shop permit. Further authorizes a delivery service permittee to facilitate delivery through technology service, as specified. Requires the permittee to successfully complete a course approved by the ABC Commission prior to making any deliveries. Prohibits a permittee from handling or possessing any funds used to purchase an alcoholic beverage, but allows the permittee to facilitate the sales transaction. Prohibits delivery to a person under 21 years of age and requires packages to contain a statement, as specified, if the manufacturer's original packaging is obscured. Subjects deliveries to local laws of the jurisdiction where the delivery is located. Prohibits deliveries from being made more than 50 miles from the retailer's licensed premises or the premises of another retailer. Limits delivery to alcoholic beverages purchased for personal consumption and from a licensed retailer's existing inventory located on the retailer's premises. Does not require a delivery service permit for a common carrier to lawfully transport or ship alcoholic beverages. Subjects deliveries pursuant to a delivery service permit to the requirements of Article 4 (Transportation).

    Amends GS 18B-902, as amended, setting the delivery service permit fee at $400.

    Part XXI

    Amends GS 18B-104, increasing the cap for the penalty the ABC Commission can accept in compromise from $5,000 to $10,000 in cases in which the ABC Commission is entitled to suspend or revoke a permit.

    Applies to violations committed on or after July 1, 2019.

    Part XXII

    Directs the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee to include in its biennial 2019-20 work plan a study by the Program Evaluation Division (PED) of the action the ABC Commission is authorized to take under GS 18B-104 for violations of GS Chapter 18B. Details required examinations of the study, inducing the proportionality of the punishment that can be imposed in relation to the violation. Requires the ABC Commission to provide any necessary information, data, or documents from its records or available to them upon request of PED. Requires PED to report to the Oversight Committee by March 15, 2020. Effective when the act becomes law.

    Part XXIII includes a severability clause.

    Part XXIV

    Allows the ABC Commission to adopt temporary rules to implement the act's requirements, and requires the Commission to amend its rules consistent with the act's provisions.

    Part XXV provides that the act is effective July 1, 2019, unless otherwise provided.


  • Summary date: Apr 2 2019 - More information

    To be summarized.


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