In early December 2016, the Council of the District of Columbia (the Council) unanimously passed the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2016 (the Act). The Act amends a number of provisions of DC’s alcohol beverage laws, several of which particularly affect DC manufacturers, brew pubs, wine pubs and distillery pubs.
Of general applicability to all DC licensees, the Act:
With respect to DC breweries, wineries, and distilleries specifically, the Act allows manufacturers to make sales of wine and distilled spirits in cans and kegs, in addition to barrels and sealed bottles.
Of concern to on-premise retailers (including brew pubs, wine pubs and distillery pubs, which must also be licensed as on-premise retailers in DC), the Act:
DC’s unique statutory system provides for a 10-business-day period of mayoral review of legislation passed by the Council. Mayor Muriel Bowser does not appear to have taken any action to date on the Act. Assuming the Mayor signs the Act or allows it to become law without her signature, the Council must then submit the Act to the US Congress for a 30-day review period. Congress may either take no action – in which case the Act will officially become law – or disapprove of the Act by a joint resolution, which the President must also sign.