Bill Summaries: S490 ABC OMNIBUS 2023.

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  • Summary date: Apr 3 2023 - View Summary

    Enacts various changes to the alcohol laws of the State. 

    Section 1: Defines premixed cocktail in GS 18B-101(8b) as a beverage with no more than 11% alcohol by volume made of spiritous liquor premixed with nonalcoholic beverages, flavoring, or coloring, and removes the reference to “premixed cocktail” in the definition of mixed beverage in subsection (10) of that section. Amends GS 18B-804(b)(8) to exempt premixed cocktails from the mixed beverage tax if the premixed cocktail comes in a closed package for resale. Amends GS 18B-1007(b) (Handling Bottles) to allow mixed beverage permit holders and their employees to handle premixed cocktails sold in a closed package for resale. 

    Section 2: Creates GS 18B-209, which permits members and employees of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC Commission) to sample free products for sensory analysis and quality control, as long as the person sampling does not consume more than one 0.25 oz sample of each product. Creates GS 18B-707 which extends the same authority to members of a local ABC board. 

    Section 3: Amends GS 153A-145.7 to allow a county to adopt an ordinance permitting Sunday operation of ABC stores if the local ABC board petitions the board of county commissioners to do so. Enacts the same procedure and authority for cities by amending GS 160A-205.3, and for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribe by creating new subsection (b2) in GS 18B-112. Makes clarifying changes to include the possibility of Sunday sales at ABC stores in GS 18B-802 and GS 18B-1004(c). Removes the prohibition in GS 18B-802(b) of ABC store sales on New Year’s Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, and prohibits sell alcoholic beverages before noon on a Sunday, where Sunday sales are allowed.

    Section 4: Creates new subsection (c) of GS 18B-105, which permits alcohol industry members to provide advertising specialty items and product displays (both as defined) to retailers as long as the cumulative value of items per brand is less than $1,000 per year and the items have not been customized for an individual permittee. Allows the use of industry branded plug-in coolers as long as the total value of the coolers is less than $1,500 per brand by amending GS 18B-809. 

    Section 5: Amends GS 18B-1001(10) to permit mixed beverages permit holders that are a restaurant, hotel, private club, bar, and distillery permit holders to sell retail mixed beverages for off premises consumption, as long as they are packed in a container 750 ml or less, with a secure lid or cap that must be removed for consumption. Provides an exception to GS 20-138.7 for transportation of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle as long as the containers remain sealed, and an exception to the one drink limitation of GS 18B-1010 as long as the drinks are sold for delivery and consumption off premises. Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-1001.4 concerning allowable activities of a holder of a delivery service permit to include mixed beverages.

    Section 6: Permits a mixed beverage permit holder to purchase spirituous liquor from any ABC store located in the same county as the permit holder by repealing subsection (c) and creating new subsection (g) in GS 18B-404. Makes conforming changes to GS 18B-600 and GS 18B-1007(a) to reference the ability of a permit holder to purchase from any ABC store in the county. 

    Section 7: Prohibits mixed beverages permittees from destroying, altering, or defacing the mixed beverages tax stamp or anything else required to be affixed before the container has been emptied; allows a mixed beverage permit holders to cover tax stamps with clear adhesives to prevent the stamp from falling off by creating new subsection (e) of GS 18B-1007. 

    Section 8: Creates new GS 18B-210, which requires a local ABC board that plans to sell allocated liquors, as defined, to create a plan that must be approved by the ABC Commission prior to sale, and limits the sale of allocated products to retail customers who are residents of the county where the local ABC board is located. Sets out requirements for the timing of the approval or denial of a plan. Includes a requirement to list all customers who purchase allocated products in monthly sales records under GS 18B-205(a). Makes the street address of a retail customer who purchased an allocated product confidential under GS 132-1.2(10). Creates a Class 1 misdemeanor offense for reselling or advertising for resell any allocated products purchased from a local ABC board in GS 18B-102(c). 

    Section 9: Creates new GS 18B-211, which requires the ABC Commission to inform industry members and local ABC boards at least 60 days before the effective date of a retail price reduction for a spiritous liquor product. Limits the time that the price may be reduced to only the 30 days the approved reduction is in effect. Requires the ABC Commission to adopt rules to address orders placed by a local ABC board for a product with a retail price reduction when the product is out of stock. 

    Section 10: Allows ABC stores to sell consumer specialty items, as defined, but prohibits the sale of any tobacco, vapor, or hemp product or paraphernalia, and permits the ABC Commission to approve a different retail price for spirituous liquor products packaged with branded specialty items by creating new subsection (b1) of GS 18B-800. Creates new subsection (b2) of that statute permitting ABC stores to sell physical or electronic gift cards, and subsection (b3) permitting ABC stores to sell empty barrels or parts of barrels from distillers. Amends subsection (c3) to allow an ABC to accept an online order for gift cards.  

    Section 11: Creates new GS 18B-708, which permits the ABC Commission to approve sales of spirituous liquor products below the price paid by the local ABC board for the products, as long as the price reduction does not cause the local ABC board to operate at a loss, or if already operating at a loss, does not cause the board to incur additional annual net revenue losses. 

    Section 12: Amends GS 18B-108 to permit alcoholic beverage sales on trains operating on rail lines that are at least 100 miles long and connected to the federal rail network. 

    Section 13: Amends GS 18B-1114.7(b1)(6) to permit the sale of two mixed beverages to a customer per day, per distillery, for a consumer tasting under a spirituous liquor special event permit. 

    Section 14: Extends the deadline for change of ownership permit applications to 120 days in GS 18B-903(c)(2)b., and allows the ABC Commission to extend this period in its discretion beyond 120 days. Makes a corresponding change in sub-subdivision c. 

    Section 15: Contains a severability clause.