Virginia ABC-Related Legislation Effective July 1, 2023.
Alcoholic Product Display Rules
(HB 1979 and SB 809) – Both bills established guidelines for licensees regarding the display of alcoholic beverages near non-alcoholic beverages of the same or similar branding, logo or packaging. The new law was created to address innovative “crossover products” that contain alcohol and may cause consumer confusion or appeal to an underage audience.
Virginia ABC developed resources for licensees addressing displaying alcohol products outside of areas designated solely for alcohol, including stickers and a product guide. In July, ABC’s Bureau of Law Enforcement agents will distribute these resources, which will also be available online.
Employment Restrictions Relaxed
(HB 1730) – This law streamlines the process for licensees to hire individuals with a felony conviction. Prospective employees must be two years past their conviction, with all terms of probation or parole completed (or have written permission from Virginia ABC and consultation with the probation and parole officer).
Seasonal Marketplace License Fee
(HB 2336) – This law lowers the annual state license fee from $1,000 to $500 and the annual local license tax from $200 to $100 for marketplace licenses, when licensing privileges are exercised for six or less consecutive months, if such a period is specified prior to the beginning of the license year.
Local Alcohol Safety Action Boards
(HB 2370 and SB 841) – Both bills modified the jurisdiction and composition of local alcohol safety action boards.
Winery and Farm Winery Requirements and Privileges
(SB 983) – This law makes numerous changes to the privileges of and requirements for winery and farm winery licenses. Such changes relate to the characteristics of and tasks to be performed on the licensed premises, license qualifications, manufacturing and sale requirements and limitations, and utilization of contract winemaking services.
Any person that holds a farm winery license that was applied for prior to July 1, 2023, and granted prior to January 1, 2024, by the Board of Directors of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority shall, until July 1, 2028, (i) be exempt from the requirements created by this act in §§ 4.1-219 and 4.1-231.1 of the Code of Virginia and (ii) remain subject to the requirements of §§ 4.1-219 and 4.1-231.1 of the Code of Virginia as those sections were in effect on June 30, 2023.
Restricted Wholesale Beer License
(HB 2258) – This bill creates a restricted wholesale beer license that authorizes the licensee to provide wholesale beer distribution services to brewery and limited brewery licensees, provided that no more than 500 barrels of beer shall be distributed by the corporation to each licensee in any one calendar year. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2024.