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Licensing Staff Continue Working with Licensees during the COVID-19 Restrictions

Like all of you, LCB Licensing has made modifications to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our commitment to the community’s health and safety is our top priority. We want to keep you informed of the changes we have made to our processes to support these goals in this era of social distancing.

LCB Website Key Source for Current Information

 Have you been to the Liquor and Cannabis Board's COVID-19 webpage?
This page provides updated resources and information for licensees and the public during the COVID-19 state restrictions period.
The LCB has been working quickly to consider steps the agency can take to help licensees during this period of business restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re making allowances to ensure safe customer engagement for your business.
Please note the LCB does not have authority to change state laws. Unless otherwise mentioned, these temporary modifications will expire within 30 days following the county where your business exists entering Phase 4 of Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start plan for a phased economic recovery. We’ve also created an FAQ page for licensees who produce/sell alcohol to help answer questions we have received.
Liquor and Cannabis Board's COVID-19 webpage

Restricted Pre-Mixed Cocktails Allowance for Curbside Pick-Up or Delivery

In addition to the current delivery allowances, effective immediately, restaurants with a Spirits, Beer, and Wine (S/B/W) license issued by the  LCB may sell pre-mixed alcoholic drinks (“cocktails”) for consumption off the licensed premises during the COVID-19 Stay Home – Stay Healthy Order (No. 20-25).
Requirements
In order to sell pre-mixed cocktails to-go or delivery, an S/B/W licensee must:
  • Ensure that a bona fide complete meal is ordered with the pre-mixed cocktail order. “Complete meal” is defined at WAC 314-02-035, and must be prepared on the S/B/W restaurant’s premises;
  • Package the pre-mixed cocktail in a container with a secure lid or cap and in a manner designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap. For example, lids with sipping holes or openings for straws are not allowed. Styrofoam and plastic cups, even if sealed over with tape or other materials, are not allowed. Examples of what is allowed and not allowed are available here;
  • Deliver pre-mixed spirits in the trunk of the vehicle or beyond the immediate reach of the driver;
  • Guarantee that delivery is made by a person 21 or over that is an employee of the business and holds a MAST permit;
  • Guarantee that the person accepting the order or delivery is 21 or over; and
  • Prominently post the following warning in a manner that puts consumers on notice of limitations regarding open container laws:
Customer Notice
Pre-mixed alcoholic beverages that are packaged by this establishment may not be consumed in a motor vehicle or transported in a motor vehicle except in the vehicle’s trunk; or, if there is no trunk, in some other area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver or passengers (this does not include a utility compartment or glove compartment, but may include underneath a seat outside of the driver’s reach). RCW 46.61.519.
Note: “Post” means to prominently display on the premises, post online, or present in whatever manner is necessary to ensure that the consumer purchasing, or delivery person transporting, such beverages is given notice of this warning.
Expiration
This allowance will expire within 30 days following the county where the business is located entering Phase 4 of Washington’s Safe Start plan.
Bottle capper with three botttles

WSLCB Announces Extensions on Payment Deadline for Renewals for Liquor Permits and Liquor Licenses until Aug. 1, 2020

Effective immediately, the LCB will allow delayed payment until Aug. 1, 2020, for renewals for liquor licenses and liquor permits if the permit or license is set to expire before Aug. 1, 2020. No late fees will be assessed during this time.
Important: This temporary extension for payment applies only to 2020. In 2021, please plan to return to your original payment date for renewal. 
Permit Holders
Most permits typically expire on June 30th. LCB will send renewal notices out in mid-July this year. Please pay the renewal once you get the notice. If you do not get a renewal notice by early-July -- and you typically would -- please contact Licensing Customer Service at 360-664-1600 option 1.
License Holders
Retail and Non-Retail liquor licenses that expired in March, and those that will expire at the end of April, May, June, and July may also delay payment for renewals until Aug. 1, 2020.
The LCB is coordinating with the Department of Revenue’s Business Licensing Services (BLS). BLS sends its renewal notices out six weeks in advance. If your renewal is in April or May, you may disregard the BLS renewal notice as the payment deadline for renewals is now pushed out to August.
More Information
The LCB understands the pressure on your business these challenging times. We are trying to do what we can to help. For additional information on temporary allowances that may be available to you at this time, please visit our COVID-19 website.

It May Take you a Little Longer to Complete Required Documents and Activities

During this pandemic, Licensing understands that things may take more time and liquor applicants may need additional support. Licensing wants to assist you by offering more time and flexibility to get you through the licensing process. Please reach out to your Licensing Specialist and stay in touch with them about the status of your applications, barriers you might encounter, and other issues that you are having.

All Licensing Staff are Working from Home

Licensing Specialists, Customer Service, and Liquor Licensing Supervisors are available to assist you with your applications, questions, and other licensing needs. Licensing staff are available by phone and email. All of our contact information, including phone numbers, remain the same. The Licensing Division is also using Skype for Business and can communicate with licensees who have Skype accounts.
If you need to send documents to the Licensing Division, please send them by email or fax (360-753-2710) whenever possible. Documents sent by postal mail take us longer to get because we do not have staff at the office to process mail every day.
Retail liquor licensing questions: retailliquorlicensing@lcb.wa.gov.
Non-retail liquor licensing questions:  nonretailliquorlicensing@lcb.wa.gov.
Permit and endorsement questions:  customerservicesupervisors@lcb.wa.gov.
It is our goal to process your applications within the normal 60-90 days, whenever possible.

Advisements

  1. An interpretation was requested for RCW 66.24.244 pertaining to clarifying the language in subsection 3, related to the 25% restriction of other breweries’ brands.

    The LCB considered the statutory language, bill history, and more recent legislative changes with RCW 66.24.140, intended to create parity with language in RCW 66.24.244. Based on the conducted analysis, the LCB interprets the 25% of other breweries’ brands to be counted against tap offerings of the breweries’ own production.  The LCB considers each product on tap an active SKU. As the RCW allows for off premises sales of other breweries’ product, each product being offered for sale has an independent SKU.  What this means is if a brewery has four beers on tap (4 SKUs), they would be allowed to sell one other SKU from another WA brewery or microbrewery, whether that product is on tap or in factory sealed containers.
  2. In response to an interpretation request from industry members, the LCB is providing the following clarification on the agency interpretation of “bottles” in RCW 66.24.244 (6)(a).

    For purposes of the reference to “bottles”, the agency is interpreting the term to include “cans”, as packaging of can and bottles are both manufactured sealed and in the same or similar volumes for like product. The agency will consider “cans” and meeting the intent and spirit of the state law.

Family Support During COVID-19

As school buildings remain closed through the remainder of the academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and caregivers may be feeling worried, anxious and uncertain about how to support their families. Parents and caregivers are critical in supporting the health and resiliency of the children in their lives.
The Washington Healthy Youth (WHY) Coalition is providing up-to-date resources, including articles about talking to youth about the COVID-19 pandemic, links to virtual parenting sessions and seminars, and ideas for keeping youth busy and engaged while staying at home. These resources are posted regularly on the Start Talking Now Facebook page .
At StartTalkingNow.org, parents and other caring adults can find resources on how to start the conversation about not using alcohol and marijuana.
Additionally, the Athena Forum has a variety of helpful webinars scheduled to help families navigate COVID-19. Register by clicking on the links.
May 13, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Finding Fun in Family Time
May 18, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Life After Social Distancing
Visit the Athena Forum  for more information. 


Promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, cannabis, tobacco, and vapor laws.
-WSLCB Mission Statement
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