Key Legislative Issues
Assembly bill # 2892 - Removes two license limit
This legislation was introduced at the request of various supermarket chains and mega retailers to abolish the two license limit on plenary retail distribution licenses (off-premises liquor stores). Under current law, no person or corporate entity can hold more than two retail licenses to sell alcoholic beverages.
This legislation would remove this limitation and would permit licensees to hold more than two plenary retail distribution licenses. Those entities which acquire additional licenses, however, are required to pay a license transfer fee on each license they acquire. The transfer fee is set at 10 percent of the amount the entity paid for the license and is payable to the authority that issues the license (in most cases, the municipality). It is important to note that this bill does not increase the number of licenses that a municipality may issue.
NJLSA views this as a serious threat that can significantly impact all of our businesses and is actively opposing it.
Senate bill # 1341 – Keg Registration
The sponsor of this legislation introduced this measure to address an on-going problem that exists at a college in the Senator’s district. The Senator wants to create a system whereby a beer keg can be traced to the adult who purchased it.
The legislation requires that all kegs that are sold by retailers to consumers be affixed with a keg registration seal which displays a registration number and the name of the licensee offering the keg for sale to the consumer.
The bill requires, at the point of retail sale of a keg, the seller shall complete a keg declaration of receipt form which shall contain the following information: the keg registration seal number, the consumer's telephone number, the name and address of the consumer verified by a valid identification document, and the type and registration number of the identification presented by the consumer.
The keg declaration of receipt form shall also contain a statement signed by the consumer stating that the consumer is 21 years of age or older, does not intend to allow persons under 21 years of age to illegally consume any of the alcoholic beverage purchased, and will not remove or obliterate the keg registration seal affixed to the keg or allow its removal or obliteration. The seller would maintain the keg declaration of receipt form for two years following the date of purchase. The information collected could only be released to the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the director's authorized representatives, or other law enforcement officers.
A seller would also be required to collect a $50 deposit from the consumer for each keg. The deposit would be forfeited if the keg is not returned with the keg registration seal attached.
NJLSA has serious concerns with this legislation. Under the provisions of this legislation, all of the liability falls on the retailer. No fines or penalties are imposed on a consumer who violates this act. NJLSA has made our concerns know on this legislation and have actively lobbied in opposition of this measure.
Senate bill # 2237 - Direct Shipping
This legislation would allow a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of alcoholic beverages who is not licensed within this State and who holds a valid license from another state to directly ship to New Jersey residents. Such manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer may ship no more than 60 bottles of alcoholic beverages directly to a New Jersey resident over 21 years of age for personal consumption on an annual basis.
This legislation would not allow a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer licensed outside this State to ship alcoholic beverages to a resident who intends to resell the alcoholic beverage for pecuniary gain.
NJLSA has spoken to numerous legislators in opposition of this legislation and will continue to fight to oppose this measure.
Assembly bill # 3850 – Tastings Legislation
This legislation would allow plenary retail consumption licensees (package good stores) to conduct consumer beer and spirits tastings in addition to wine tastings which has been allowed since 2004. The provisions of this legislation requires:
• Samples shall not be offered to, or allowed to be consumed by, any person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or an intoxicated person;
• Tasting and/or sampling events shall not be conducted when the sale of alcoholic beverages is otherwise prohibited;
• Tasting and/or sampling events shall be confined to the licensed premises;
• Each patron is limited no more than four three ounce samples of beer or four one-and-one-half ounce samples of wine or three one-half ounces samples of spirits in any calendar day;
• Suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, solicitors and/or their authorized representatives, may participate in, assist with and/or promote consumer wine, beer and spirits tasting and/or sampling events;
• Beer, wine and spirits used in the tastings and/or sampling events shall be owned by the retail licensee conducting these tastings or provided by a supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, solicitor, and/or an authorized representative, thereof for the purpose of the tasting and/or sampling events conditioned upon the removal of any unfinished alcoholic beverage containers not supplied by the retailer from the licensed premises by such persons upon the completion of the tasting and/or sampling events;
• Tasting and/or sampling events are open to the general public and are not limited by invitation.
NJLSA is actively promoting this legislation and has met with Legislative leadership in both houses to express our support of this measure.
Make the Effort to Get Connected
to Your Industry.
There have been several legislative bills introduced that would all have a severe impact on our industry and livelihoods. The bottom line is that key members of the leadership of our legislature have set their sights on our industry and it pretty much looks like they would like to hand our state based industry over to the out-of-state free trade crusaders whose extreme capitalistic ideology was directly responsible for the collapse of our nationís economy just a few years ago. You would think we would have learned a lesson.
If you care about the future of your business, itís time to support your industry. HELP FIGHT THE TWO-LICENSE CHALLENGE. Join the NJLSA today!!!