The New York State Liquor Authority sent a cease and desist order to Wine Library, a New Jersey retailer, for directly shipping wine to New York. Currently, it is unlawful for a New Jersey retailer to ship directly to a New York resident. New York law states: “Except as provided in section seventy-nine-c of this chapter, no alcoholic beverages shall be shipped into [New York] unless the same shall be consigned to a person duly licensed hereunder to traffic in alcoholic beverages. This prohibition shall apply to all shipments of alcoholic beverages into New York State and includes importation or distribution for commercial purposes, for personal use, or otherwise and irrespective of whether such alcoholic beverages were purchased within or without the state, provided, however, this prohibition shall not apply to any shipment consigned to a New York resident who has personally purchased alcoholic beverages for his personal use while outside the United States for a minimum period of forty-eight consecutive hours and which has shipped as a consignor to himself as consignee. Purchases made outside the United Stated by persons other than the purchaser himself, regardless whether made as his agent, or by his authorization or on his behalf, are deemed not to have been personally purchased within the meaning of this paragraph.” – Section 102, Subdivision 1(a), of the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.  

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The governor of New York signed two bills that amend the current Alcohol Beverage Control law. The first new law involves has more impact on a licensee like Scores versus a cocktail bar like PDT. It adds a new requirement for applicants, both new and renewal, requiring a statement indicating the type of establishment being operated at the location. The statement must indicate whether there will be any “topless entertainment and/or exotic dancing whether topless or otherwise, including, but not limited to, pole dancing and lap dancing, at the establishment.” The State Liquor Authority cannot waive this new requirement; all new applications and all renewal applications must include this information. This takes effect on September 29, 2013 and applications received prior may use either the old or new forms. The second new law is effective immediately and adds the word “intentionally” to the law regarding contaminated bottles. It is a slight change intended to, according to the SLA website announcement, “prevent the Authority from prosecuting licensees for bottles contaminated with fruit flies (and similar substances) when there is no evidence that the licensee intentionally contaminated the bottles.” Non-intentional contaminations are likely to be followed-up with health code violations. The new law reads as follows: “No retail licensee for on-premises consumption… shall keep upon the licensed premises any liquors and/or wines in any cask, barrel, keg, hogshead or other container, except in the original sealed package as received from the manufacturer or wholesaler. Such containers shall have affixed thereto such labels…

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New Jersey is the latest state, in the growing number, to have a craft spirits license. The Craft Distillery licensee is entitled to “manufacture not more than 20,000 gallons of distilled alcoholic beverages, provided that not less than 51% of the raw materials used in the production shall be grown in [New Jersey], and to rectify, blend, treat and mix distilled alcoholic beverages, and to sell and distribute [outside New Jersey] to any persons pursuant to the laws of the places of such sale and distribution, and to maintain a warehouse.” The licensee may also sell products on the licensed premises of the distillery for consumption off the premises, but no more than two liters per day. In addition, this license allows the licensee to offer consumers up to three samples per day. “Sampling means the gratuitous offering of an open container not exceeding one-half ounce serving of distilled alcoholic beverage produced on the distillery premises.” The fee for this license is $938.

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