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Extension of the Emergency Order That Permits Retailers to Sell “To-Go” Beer, Wine, and Cocktails.

Employment Law Blog

Extension of the Emergency Order That Permits Retailers to Sell “To-Go” Beer, Wine, and Cocktails

March 28, 2022

The Maine Legislature has passed LD 1751, which extends Governor Mills’ previous Emergency Order permitting on-premise retailers to sell beer, wine, and cocktails “to-go” until March 30, 2025. The bill now proceeds to the Governor, whom we expect to sign the legislation into law. Since the present authorization expires on March 30, 2022, so we expect quick action by the Governor.

Although the original text of the bill would have made the changes permanent, the Legislature declined to do so in order to allow further study of the legislation’s effects on health, safety, and alcohol abuse.

As has been the practice since the pandemic began, the legislation permits on-premise restaurants and bars to sell beer, wine, and cocktails with takeout and delivery orders. The beverages must accompany food, and must, in the case of beer and wine, be in sealed original containers (cans and bottles). Restaurants and bars that utilize this provision must use their own employees to deliver the alcohol, and cannot permit the beverages to be sent through a third-party delivery provider.

The legislation does not create any new requirements for currently-compliant on-premise licensees to continue participating in the program.

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