MEETINGS & EVENTS
July 9-10 – ABL Summer Board Meeting | Madison, WI
July 29-31 – ECRS Ignite 19 Retail Success Conference | Nashville, TN
August 9-11 – TWSRA 2019 Annual Meeting | Gatlinburg, TN
August 25-27 – Center for Alcohol Policy 12th Annual Conference | Boston, MA
September 9-11 – MTA Annual Convention & Tradeshow | Sidney, MT
September 12 – IABR Fall Golf Outing | Indianapolis, IN
September 15-17 – ILBA Annual Convention & Tradeshow | LaSalle, IL
October 10 – IABR Annual Meeting & Board of Directors Meeting | Indianapolis, IN
October 14-17 – TLW 84th Annual Fall Convention | Green Bay, WI
October 21-23 – ABL Fall Board Meeting & Industry Meetings | Washington, DC
ABL & PUBLIC POLICY NEWS
|After Nearly Two Years, State Department Responds to Inquiry Over Alleged Alcohol Poisonings of U.S. Tourists: Nearly two years after receiving an inquiry from Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson, the State Department is finally revealing details about its investigation into multiple deaths and illnesses that occurred shortly after Americans drank alcohol at Mexican resorts, CNN has learned.
Schumer, Wineries Call for End to Restrictions on Wine in Cans: Erica Paolicelli could see no end to the traditional wine bottle but was eager to join the exploding market for wine sold in cans. “If you are on the golf course, or you’re at a concert, or you’re on a boat, it’s a better option for everyone,” she explained.
USMCA Progressing Through ‘Side Letters’: Democratic congressional leaders and the Trump administration officials are inching towards an agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, one GOP leader said Tuesday. Though progress on the trade deal is slow, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said, Democrats are warming up to the idea of adding side agreements to the trade deal, something they had resisted earlier.
Federal Bills Would Allow Cannabis Industry to Access Small Business Administration Programs: Federal lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow small businesses in the cannabis industry to access Small Business Administration (SBA) programs, as well as remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Small Business Owners Strongly Back Trump’s Handling of Economy, Survey Shows: President Donald Trump’s popularity with the general public has been wobbly, but his standing with business continues to be strong. Small business owners in particular remain high on the president’s pro-business agenda of lower taxes and deregulation, according to a survey released Tuesday by Wilmington Trust.
Publishers Deny Collusion in Copyright Battle with Fitness Firm: A group of music publishers in America have bit back at allegations that they colluded in an anti-competitive way in a dispute with fitness company Peloton. More than a dozen independent publishers sued Peloton earlier this year accusing it of making use of their songs without licence. Peloton makes fitness machines that come with screens via which users can access workout videos.
Drug Testing in the Era of Marijuana Legalization: How can an employer continue to pursue a drug-testing policy in the midst of the continuing trend of states legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use, especially when these states’ laws run up against federal laws that still ban the psychoactive drug’s use?
Supreme Court Affirms Police Can Order Blood Drawn from Unconscious DUI Suspects: The Supreme Court has ruled that police may, without a warrant, order blood drawn from an unconscious person suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. The Fourth Amendment generally requires police to obtain a warrant for a blood draw.
Feds Should Boost Probe into Dominican Republic Deaths: The Senate’s top Democrat said Sunday that the U.S. government should step up efforts to investigate the deaths of at least eight Americans in the Dominican Republic this year. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, wants the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to get involved in the investigation into tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic.
|How Wine Became Part of the Trade War: In the escalating trade war that threatens the world economy, wine is a minor skirmish at most. But it has its own list of casualties — especially vineyards in the U.S., and drinkers in China with a taste for their product. U.S. President Donald Trump has raged at Europeans for taxing American wine out of their markets. Chinese tariffs have sent the price of a Californian red soaring in Beijing.
Would Higher Estate Taxes Save Social Security?: Tens of millions of Americans rely on Social Security to make ends meet in retirement, and many more expect to use the program when they retire. Yet Social Security faces a financial crisis of epic proportions, as demographic shifts put pressure on its trust funds and threaten to leave it without enough money to pay full benefits by the mid-2030s.
Small Marijuana Firms Could Get SBA Loans Under Proposed Congressional Bill: Cannabis-related businesses, especially those from disadvantaged communities, would be eligible to get loans backed by the federal Small Business Administration for the first time under proposed legislation. The bill comes a week after the House Small Business Committee heard industry advocates urge Congress to extend small-business financial assistance programs to marijuana-related companies.
USTR Proposes $4 Billion in Potential Additional Tariffs Over EU Aircraft Subsidies: Just days after reaching a truce in the U.S.-China trade war, the U.S. government on Monday ratcheted up pressure on Europe in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies, threatening tariffs on $4 billion of additional EU goods.
China Tariffs Squeeze U.S. Wines: They say the third time is the charm but, when it comes to China’s newest tariff, it was a curse for US wine importers reeling from a year-long trade dispute. After hikes last year of 15 percent in April and 10 percent in September, a 15 percent increase on June 1 pushed total tariffs and taxes on US wine to 93 percent and importers to the brink.
The Future of Wine Retailer Interstate Shipping Hinges On One Word: No sooner did the Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2019 concerning Tennessee Wine And Spirits Retailers Association (TWSRA). v. The Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) take flight, interpretations and opinions traveled the Internet and beyond.
State and Local Minimum Wage Hikes Take Effect: The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) commented on the 22 minimum wage increases that officially took effect on Monday, July 1. These increases impact two states, the District of Columbia and 19 localities and have the potential to cause job losses and business closures across the nation, EPI reported.
As Competition Heats Up, Performance Rights Organizations Respond to Market Changes: Giving advances to superstar artists is pretty much the norm in the music business. But increasingly, the idea of giving out non-recoupable advances has entered the performing-rights organization (PRO) space.
The Draught Beer Quality Manual is an indispensable resource for brewers, wholesalers, retailers, and draught system installers. Prepared by the Brewers Association Technical Committee, this fourth edition includes updated best practices, detailed information about line cleaning, draught system components and design, gas dispense and balance, proper pouring, sanitation and growlers is organized with your needs in mind. The goal is simple — to improve draught beer quality and ensure that beer makes it into the consumer’s glass as the brewer intends.
Massachusetts Package Stores Association
Retailers Resist State Lottery’s Push for Online Sales
The Massachusetts Lottery’s technological systems are on par with an old, wall-mounted rotary phone — outdated and inconvenient, but it still works — while customers increasingly expect to be linked to the world through a smartphone at all times, the agency’s executive director told lawmakers Monday.
Tavern League of Wisconsin
Tavern Owners Want More Regulation from the State in an Increasingly Competitive Market
Wisconsin’s Tavern League has been a political powerhouse for decades — advocating in the Capitol for thousands of bars and restaurants across the state that serve alcohol. The group, which was established in 1935 and is the largest tavern association in the world, has, like other advocacy groups, won and lost policy fights over the years. Among its victories, the Tavern League has fought successfully to extend bar hours and remove drunk driving warnings from state road signs.
STATE & LOCAL NEWS
|Delaware: Lawmakers Make Underage Alcohol Possession Civil Offense, Decriminalize Marijuana for Juveniles: Delaware lawmakers have approved two measures that will decriminalize underage possession or consumption of alcohol and simple possession of marijuana to juveniles. Both bills are headed to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature. House lawmakers voted 34-to-7 for the bill decriminalizing simple possession of marijuana to juveniles.
Illinois: Weed Cafes? People Could Be Allowed to Smoke Marijuana (Not Tobacco) at Bars, Restaurants Under New Law: Since 2008, it’s been illegal to smoke indoors at most public places in Illinois. But smoking could once again be allowed at bars, restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses, even new cannabis smoke lounges and weed-friendly movie theaters and concert venues – if local officials approve that. That’s under a largely overlooked provision of the new Illinois law legalizing recreational marijuana use and sales.
Kansas: State Changes the Penalty for Drivers Who Refuse a Sobriety Test: Kansas drivers can no longer be charged with a crime for refusing a sobriety test, under a July 1 change in state law. But be prepared to lose your license if you don’t take the test. Under a new state law, police can’t ticket motorists suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol for refusing an officer’s request to take a field sobriety test.
Michigan: Bill Setting Marijuana Limits for Motorists Draws Scrutiny: Two western Michigan prosecutors are casting a wary eye on legislation that sets a threshold for marijuana impairment in drivers. The senate bill comes just months after a special commission recommended that Michigan lawmakers not set limits for how much THC a person can have in their system before they are considered too impaired to drive.
|Minnesota: Mixed Reviews After Two Years of Sunday Liquor Sales: Monday marked two years since a law went into effect in Minnesota, allowing Sunday liquor sales in the state. Two years ago, Apollo Liquor store was packed with people buying alcohol on a Sunday. “It’s the first time in Minnesota history so I thought I’d make that history,” one customer said.
New York: Retailers Want Rent Regulations Too: Just weeks after the state imposed the strictest apartment rent regulations New York has ever seen, some retailers are now calling for their own rent protections. They want to be able to secure an automatic 10-year lease renewal under the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and are urging the city to re-think some of the regulations they claim put a stranglehold on mom and pop retailers.
North Carolina: State May Soon Allow Browsing Mall Shops with a Glass of Wine in Hand?: Shoppers at malls in North Carolina could soon be able to walk around with an alcoholic beverage in some areas. Senate Bill 344, which is expected to be heard Tuesday on the Senate floor, came at the request of The Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham as a matter of fairness, said bill sponsor Sen. Mike Woodard, D-Durham.
Pennsylvania: The Beer Tax – What Does it Mean for You and Your Favorite Pint?: Gov. Wolf has signed HB 262, which amended how the Department of Revenue planned to institute a tax on malt and brewed beverage manufacturers. That initial tax update was scheduled to take effect Monday, July 1. However, a late revision, HB 1549 led by Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny, was absorbed into the Tax Reform Code (HB 262) and will restructure how the tax is implemented.
Pennsylvania: If Signed by Governor, Legislation Brings Back Multi-Jurisdictional DUI Checkpoints: Lawmakers have passed a bill which could bring back DUI checkpoints across Pennsylvania. A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling suspended checkpoints involving officers from multiple police departments.
BUSINESS & LIFESTYLE NEWS
|A Tale of Two Cities. . . Uh, Counties. . . No, States: Copperhill and McCaysville are really one town divided by a state line. That’s not all that unusual, we’ve been to many cities that are separated into two different states by a river or a road. No, what’s unusual in this case is the lack of any landmark or street dissecting the town.
Toxic Substances Found in the Glass and Decoration of Alcoholic Beverage Bottles: Researchers at the University of Plymouth analyzed both the glass and enameled decorations on a variety of clear and colored bottles readily available in shops and supermarkets. They showed that cadmium, lead and chromium were all present in the glass, but at concentrations where their environmental and health risks were deemed to be of low significance.
Restaurant Industry Getting Caught in Packaging Squeeze: The war on packaging is heating up, and California is poised to set a new marker that may change the lifecycle of the issue. In an age of increasing delivery demands by consumers, operators are finding themselves in a very difficult position. Align Public Strategies discusses that with Shannon Crawford, the director of state government affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association.
“Stick with Beer”: Why Counterfeit Booze Might Be Killing People in the Dominican Republic: Of the 10 Americans who have mysteriously died during their trips to the Dominican Republic in the last year, nine showed symptoms commonly associated with methanol poisoning. Now, both Dominican authorities and the FBI are looking into a counterfeit alcohol as the possible culprit, officials confirmed to VICE News.
Scathing Report Says Walmart’s Grocery Store Dominance Must Be Stopped: Walmart has monopolized the grocery business across the United States and should be forced to sell off some of its stores, an advocacy group charged in a scathing report released Thursday. Walmart is the nation’s largest grocer. It controls around a fifth of the grocery industry nationwide.
PBR Just Released a Hard Coffee with Alcohol and Caffeine: The familiar Blue-Ribbon seal has been hitting a lot of new products lately. Earlier this year, it was revealed that PBR is working on a whiskey. Then there was news that it’s releasing a PBR with a higher alcohol content, as well as a non-alcoholic version of your favorite $2 beer.
|Fun without Alcohol? Sober Bars Offer Social Connections without Peer Pressure to Drink: Sober bars are becoming a new way for people recovering and those who simply want to cut back drinking to have a safe space to socialize. Not far from the Anheuser-Busch brewery, Joshua Grigaitis fills a cooler with bottles and cans in one of the city’s oldest bars. It’s Saturday night.
What’s Behind the Growing Trend of Booze-Free Events?: During her years as a reporter in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s, Jayne O’Donnell says she was averaging two bottles of wine per day. “I was working on Capitol Hill in the 1980s – it’s no accident the early ’80s were the peak of alcohol use. People were drinking regularly at lunch… I got to the point where I was able to, with the job covering Capitol Hill, continue the college type of drinking,” O’Donnell said.
Amazon Is Making Grocery Brands Pay for Losses on Prime Day Promotions, as Focus on Profit Grows: As Amazon grows more profit-conscious, it is making sure grocery brands cover losses on low-priced products sold during Prime Day, one of its biggest sales events of the year. For this year’s Prime Day, Amazon is charging “additional funding” to certain grocery brands if sales of their promotional products result in a loss for Amazon, according to an email seen by CNBC.
Running for Senate: A 19th Century D.C. Beer Is Back on the Ticket: As the United States celebrates Independence Day this week with the traditional fireworks over the Washington Monument, a beer from the District of Columbia’s past has just been reborn. Senate Beer was first made in the 1880s by the district’s largest and longest-operating brewery, The Christian Heurich Brewing Co.
Jim Beam Warehouse Filled with 45,000 Barrels of Bourbon Still Burning: A fire at a Jim Beam warehouse in Versailles, Kentucky, was in its third day of burning on Thursday, as Kentucky officials began assessing the environmental impact the leaking bourbon was having on nearby waterways. The warehouse caught fire Tuesday night and burned through Wednesday morning before a containment system was set up at the warehouse.
Diageo Mulls Creation of Non-Alcoholic Guinness: Diageo’s global head of innovation, Michael Ward, has admitted that the company has been working on a non-alcoholic version of Guinness, although he said that developing such a product posed “a lot of challenges to work through”. “You would certainly expect that we would,” Ward said, after being put on the spot over the question.
American Beverage Licensees is the preeminent national trade association for beverage alcohol retailers. Direct retail beverage alcohol sales in the United States generate more than 2.03 million well-paying jobs. ABL’s thousands of on-premise and off-premise licensee members are independent and often family-owned establishments. The beverage retailing industry pays over $27.9 billion in federal taxes and $20.0 billion in state and local taxes. To learn more about ABL, visit www.ablusa.org