by Brenée Goforth
Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
According to John Trump’s most recent story in Carolina Journal:
House Bill 536, ABC Omnibus Regulatory Reform, has cleared the N.C. House committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations and heads to the floor for a vote.
HB 536 is an ABC reform bill which would, among other things:
- restrict the formation of new ABC boards
- allow brewers to offer tastings at farmers markets
- allow restaurants to sell up to two drinks per customer at any one time
- [and] allow liquor tastings at state ABC stores within given limitations.
HB 536 has gone through many revisions. Aspects that are no longer included in the bill include:
- a local option to open N.C. ABC stores on Sundays
- [a provision for distilleries] to sell directly to consumers out of state
- [and alcohol to] be sold on ferries and trains
While this bill has been picked back up, John Trump notes that the fate of another ABC reform bill is still unclear:
Senate Bill 290 — which passed the Senate, 39-4, and was sent to the House, where it passed the House ABC Committee — remains in the Houses Rules Committee.
S.B. 290 would allow N.C. distilleries to sell malt beverages and unfortified and fortified wine, as well to sell mixed beverages. The bill would allow distillers to, much like ABC stores, sell to consumers without facing the current five-bottle- per-person annual restriction.
It’s not clear if S.B. 290 will get a hearing in the committee before the long session adjourns.