On or after January 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2027, the bill allows a liquor-licensed drugstore to obtain up to 5 additional liquor-licensed drugstore licenses, under which drugstores are permitted to sell malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors in sealed containers for consumption off the licensed premises. On or after January 1, 2017, and before January 1, 2027, a liquor-licensed drugstore seeking to obtain an additional liquor-licensed drugstore license must apply to the state and local licensing authorities, as part of a single application, to transfer ownership of 2 retail liquor stores licensed as of the effective date of the bill, change the location of one of the retail liquor stores, and merge and convert the 2 retail liquor store licenses into a single liquor-licensed drugstore license. Assuming all other requirements for the transfer, merger, and conversion are satisfied, the application is permitted only if:
- The applicant has paid a purchase price of at least $350,000 per retail liquor store to acquire ownership of the 2 retail liquor stores;
- The subject retail liquor store and the drugstore applicant's premises are within the jurisdiction of the same local licensing authority; and
- The drugstore's licensed premises will not be located within 2,500 feet of another licensed liquor retailer within the same local licensing authority's jurisdiction.
In making its determination on the application, the local licensing authority may consider the reasonable requirements of the neighborhood. Starting January 1, 2027, a liquor-licensed drugstore may obtain an unlimited number of additional liquor-licensed drugstore licenses without acquiring and converting 2 retail liquor store licenses.
A liquor-licensed drugstore shall:
- Not sell alcohol beverages at a price that is lower than the drugstore's cost to purchase the products;
- Ensure that an employee completes alcohol beverage transactions with customers directly rather than through a self-checkout register;
- Ensure that employees who are involved in selling alcohol beverages maintain certification as responsible alcohol beverage vendors;
- Not sell clothing or accessories imprinted with advertising, logos, or slogans related to alcohol beverages;
- Not store alcohol products off the licensed premises;
- Designate a manager who has been permitted by the state licensing authority to conduct the store's alcohol beverage purchases with licensed wholesalers; and
- Shelve and display its alcohol beverage merchandise separately from nonalcohol products it offers for sale.
Additionally, a drugstore that obtains a liquor license on or after January 1, 2017, must effect payment upon delivery and cannot purchase alcohol beverages on credit.
The bill removes the maximum alcohol content of fermented malt beverages, thereby allowing licensed fermented malt beverage retailers to sell beer with an alcohol content in excess of 3.2% by weight or 4% by volume.
Wholesalers, manufacturers, and their employees cannot stock liquor-licensed drugstore shelves with alcohol beverages or otherwise provide shelving, displaying, or similar services to a liquor-licensed drugstore.
The state licensing authority may issue a manager's permit to a liquor-licensed drugstore manager who controls the drugstore's alcohol beverage operations if the permit applicant satisfies specified criteria.
A liquor-licensed drugstore must pay an application fee to both the state licensing authority and the local licensing authority and, if the application is granted, is subject to applicable annual liquor-licensed drugstore licensing fees.
The bill expands the nonalcohol products that a retail liquor store may sell, including soft drinks, snack foods, wine-, beer-, and spirits-making kits and related supplies, clothing and accessories related to alcohol beverages, lottery tickets, tobacco and related products, and any other merchandise not related to the consumption of alcohol beverages if the annual gross revenue from the other merchandise does not exceed 20% of the retail liquor store's total annual gross revenue.
The bill permits a retail liquor store owner to have an interest in up to 5 additional retail liquor store licenses.
All licensed retailers will have to verify that each customer attempting to purchase alcohol beverages is at least 21 years of age by requiring the customer to present a valid, government-issued document that includes the customer's photograph and date of birth.
A liquor-licensed drugstore is prohibited from allowing an employee under 21 years of age to sell, deliver, or otherwise have contact with malt, vinous, or spirituous liquors offered for sale on, or sold and removed from, the licensed premises.