Arizona Arizona Commerce Committee gives green light on four liquor measures:

The Arizona House of Representatives Commerce Committee, chaired by Representative Justin Wilmeth, gave a green light and passed four liquor related measures on February 14.

The four include:

HB 2208 

This bill continues the DLLC until 2031. Under Arizona law, every state agency must be periodically re-approved by the Arizona Legislature and Governor’s office.  The legislation follows an audit of the agency which identifies recommended changes to be addressed.

HB 2293 

This bill adds to the list of acceptable IDs, for liquor purchase purposes, a valid unexpired border crossing card issued by the United States government that contains a photograph of the person and the person’s date of birth.

HCR 2043

 This measure  proposes a constitutional amendment that would reserve for the state (and remove from the ability of a city or county) the ability to set minimum wages, unpaid leave, meal breaks, rest periods, etc. This item is not standard legislation, and must be approved by a majority of those Arizona voters voting at the next general election in November, 2024.

HB 2293 

This bill is this session’s  “liquor omnibus“  bill. It contains numerous provisions. ALBA has been involved in the development of this legislation since September in both advocating for subjects to be included in the bill, as well as advocating against subjects that others have proposed for the bill.
The bill is the result of all-industry (and DLLC) input and requires a consensus on items included in the bill. This year‘s bill includes the following:
       • designates a single term for all three types of craft  producers, including farm wineries, microbreweries and craft distillers under a new category of             “craft producers”
       • creates a new license for microbreweries as a “microbrewery festival license“, to track exactly the festival license that already exists for farm                       wineries
       • provides that when an on sale licensee applies for an extended premises approval, that the DLLC can proceed to act on the application as soon as             a city has completed its review within the prescribed 60 day time period
       • authorizes an additional ID category for purposes of showing age for liquor purchases, “a valid unexpired consular identification card issued by a               foreign government, if the foreign government uses biometric identity verification techniques“
       • raises the annual amount from $500-$700 for a contribution that a wholesaler can provide to an on sale retailer for promotional items (equipment,             supplies, novelties, or other advertising specialties.)
       • Permits “craft producers”  to consume small amounts and serve the products of a craft producer on the premises of an off sale retailer, or a retailer           with offsale privileges
       • permits the filing of a luxury tax return by farm wineries, craft, distilleries, and craft breweries on an annual basis instead of a monthly basis.

The hearing on February 14 was the first hearing on these measures in the 2023 legislative session. The bills must proceed through a number of procedural steps in the House of Representatives and then be conveyed for a an additional review in the Arizona State Senate.
Assuming that these measures (other than the HCR2043) make it through both the Arizona House and Senate intact, they will go to Governor Hobbs for approval and her signature. That is likely to be in the May or June timeframe,
and the effective date of this legislation may be in September or October. Stay tuned!

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From the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association (ALBA)


Don Isaacson