Libation Law Blog

Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Regulatory and Legal Updates

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Illinois Senate Bill 54 from the state legislature’s last session had a long and tortured history. Despite the fact that I fully support alcoholic beverage retailer delivery and shipping, I criticized the language and sloppy drafting of the various versions of the bill proposed over time during the last session because thoughtfulness in legislative drafting provides clarity and effective rights and sloppy drafting leads to more problems, confusion and improper enforcement. You can read my…
This morning, the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari filed by the plaintiffs in the 6th Circuit Lebamoff – Michigan wine retailer shipping case. For some background, here is our analysis of the 6th Circuit decision that was the subject of the cert. petition. The Northern District of Illinois case remains pending and headed to trial. The post SCOTUS denies Cert. in Lebamoff 6th-Circuit wine retailer shipping case. appeared first on…
The Vermont Department of Financial Regulation recently issued an ex parte cease-and-desist order to a winery based on concerns that the winery’s SEC Regulation D, Rule 506(b) exempted offering failed to disclose important facts concerning the winery’s lack of licensure. You can read the order in the link above. According to the order, a former employee’s attorney reached out to the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation regarding the winery’s business practices. A deputy commissioner checked…
Just got an important reminder from the Hospitality Business Association of Chicago. Today is the last day to apply for the second round of the State of Illinois Business Interruption Grants to offset losses during the various pandemic shutdowns this year. The application overview is here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/C19DisadvantagedBusGrants.aspx The application specifically is: https://accionilin.formstack.com/forms/big And if you are curious the State’s list of approved grants, with amounts, was updated on Dec 10th here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Documents/BIGRd2Awards_121020.pdf Federal CARES…
The country-spanning impact of South Dakota v. Wayfair just hit the Illinois direct-to-consumer wine market. The Illinois Department of Revenue has announced that beginning January 1, Winery Shipper’s License holders with no physical presence in Illinois will need to remit the Illinois Retailer’s Occupation Tax provided they do not have a physical presence in Illinois and they meet the $100,000 in sales or 200+ transaction benchmark. This is in-line Wayfair’s determination that out-state retailers must…
The saga over “fizzy” named hard seltzers Brizzy and Vizzy added another chapter in favor of Molson Coors with this 5th Circuit opinion upholding the lower court’s denial of an injunction to Brizzy-maker, Future Proof Brands, in its attempt to keep Molson’s Vizzy from competing under that name. You can read our review of the lower court decision here, and here, find the briefs in this hard seltzer fight here. Note…
On Monday the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted to approve language finally rolling out two classes of delivery options, one for inter-retailer transfer and another for home delivery. The mairjuana courier and marijuana delivery operator licenses have a social equity component that will expire after three to four years. The language should be helpful to legislators and regulators in other states considering both creating delivery programs and how to deal with extending COVID-19 regulatory changes…
Back in May of this year the Commerce Clause provided a substantial victory for cannabis companies looking to achieve fair-play amongst the states that have authorized cannabis programs and sales. An out-of-state company looking to obtain cannabis licensure in Maine successfully fought a state court action and settled with Maine regulators to stop enforcing residency requirements for state licensure. An activist group is currently attempting to defend the statutory requirement and force Maine regulators to…
Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari that Wal-Mart had filed in its fight to overturn a 5th Circuit ruling that Texas retail liquor licensing rules and Wal-Mart’s case against them required further fact finding.  Initially, the District Court had agreed with Wal-Mart that the Texas ban on public companies owning liquor stores had a discriminatory intent against out-of-state interests violating the Commerce Clause. The 5th Circuit reversed that decision remanding the case…
You’ll recall that the court had recently dismissed this matter finding that Minhas’s second amended complaint (Mountain Crest SRL, LLC) had failed to allege Molson and Anhueser violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to harm Minhas through their distribution and marketing practices at beer stores in Ontario, Canada. This was only after the Seventh Circuit had reversed an initial dismissal remanding for the lower court to make determinations about the second amended complaint for a…