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Meet New Deputy Director Pat Kohler

Earlier this month Pat Kohler started her new position as Deputy Director. Licensees may be familiar with the name, since Pat served as WSLCB Director from January, 2002 until June, 2013 when she left to serve as Director at the Department of Licensing. With over 35 years of state service, Pat feels strongly about making a difference for the citizens of our state. She connects with the agency’s mission to promote public safety and trust, and enjoys working the business and customer service angles that are crucial to her role. 
Her initial goals are to improve processes and service delivery for customers. She believes in the customer voice, and is eager to help the agency address technical issues, while covering the political, compliance and operational aspects of projects such as traceability. She’s working to gain a firm grasp on the current priorities of the agency and to ensure a strategic approach is taken moving forward. 

Your Signature is Unique

In the popular times of pen and paper, it was a person’s signature that made one instantly identifiable and legally verifiable. Even in the current digital age, a signature is just as important in the licensing process here at the WSLCB. During the application process, your licensing investigator will request a variety of documents, forms and statements - nearly all of them requiring a signed signature.
By asking for a physical (wet) signature, we are protecting your identity to ensure that you are the person applying for a license or changes to your license. Due to this, using a script font is not acceptable. Cutting and pasting an image of your signature is also not acceptable, nor are unverifiable digital signatures. Submitting forms unsigned or with any variation of the above three things could potentially cause a delay in your licensing process – and we want to avoid that.
So after you are done filling out the forms… don’t forget to put your John Hancock on it!

Bottle Service 

A growing issue our Enforcement officers are seeing more of lately is the selling of spirits by the bottle, better known as “bottle service." Generally the sales are part of a VIP package sold to customers at restaurants with entertainment or night club venues. Customers can reserve a table within the restaurant or night club, and the special customer service amenities include a bottle of spirits of their choice at the table. The issue is that RCW 66.24.400, restricts retailers to selling spirits by the glass: “The retailers license, to be known and designated as a spirits, beer, and wine restaurant license, to sell spirituous liquor by the individual glass.”  
Although retail liquor licensees can sell bottles or carafes of wine and pitchers of beer for consumption on licensed premises, bottles of spirits must be sold by the individual glass. A benefit of this restriction is that it allows licensees the ability to maintain more control of their premises by monitoring the alcohol consumption of their customers. State laws require licensees to observe and remove liquor from a customer who is displaying signs of intoxication. Self-service of a bottle of spirits places more stress on employees having to closely observe patrons’ conduct while also maintaining control over the rest of the premises.
You can find additional information under Washington Administrative code WAC 314-02-015. You can also contact  your local enforcement officer more information about the subject of bottle service.   

Can I Extend My Alcohol Service Area Outside During Special Events? 

If you would like to have outside service on an occasional basis, such as during a local festival, you will need to notify your local enforcement officer in writing at least five days prior to hosting an event. You will also need to ensure that you have leasehold rights to all areas where alcohol service is planned.  

Alcohol Rules Update

Several rulemakings are currently underway and are detailed below. As always, we encourage your participation in the rulemaking process and value public input. You can find information about any current rulemaking on the Proposed Rules webpage under Laws and Rules on the WLSCB’s website. You can also find additional materials related to rulemaking items brought to Board meetings on the Board’s webpage under Board Meeting Schedule and Information.
Mini Spirits Bottle Placement and Storage
This rulemaking requires grocery stores and specialty shops with less than fifty percent of their sales from alcohol to display mini spirits bottles securely. Changes were made to the proposal (Supplemental CR-102) after the filing of the initial rule. The proposed rule is currently open for written comment and a public hearing will be on September 5, 2018. If no changes are made to the proposed rule, it will be brought to the Board for final adoption on September 19, 2018.
2018 Liquor Legislation
A CR-101 was issued on April 4, 2018, to initiate the rulemaking process to implement changes made to RCW 66.24.155 during the 2018 legislative session. The rules define ancillary activities as activities an alcohol manufacturer participates in and include all activities, licenses, and privileges involving the public, such as serving samples, operating a tasting room, conducting retail sales, serving alcohol under a restaurant license, or serving alcohol with a special occasion license. The rules also ensure that alcohol manufacturers won’t have their manufacturing license suspended for ancillary activity violations. The anticipated public hearing date is October 3, 2018.
Curbside Service 
This rulemaking is to allow grocery stores to provide curbside service when customers are picking up products ordered through online ordering and pickup programs. The WSLCB is making changes to the initial rules based on comments received at the June 13, 2018 public hearing. A Supplemental CR 102 will be filed in August (tentative) with an anticipated public hearing date in October.
Breweries and Wineries 
A CR-101 was issued on February 21, 2018, to initiate the rulemaking process to update and provide clarification for brewery and winery rules. The rulemaking will also address alternating proprietorships and internet sales.
Spirits Distributor Licensing Fees 
A CR-101 was issued on March 21, 2018, to initiate the rulemaking process. Rulemaking will ensure the rules are compliant with any applicable RCW. Rules are needed to address the requirement in statute that retailers pay distributor fees on sales of spirits for resale when no prior distributor fee has been paid on the product.
How can you participate in the rulemaking process? 
Check out our Proposed Rules webpage under Laws and Rules on the WLSCB’s website and submit comments to All rulemaking activity occurs at Board meetings. You can access Board agendas and meeting materials at the Board’s webpage: Board Meeting Schedule and Information.

Big Change for Alcohol Rules

Karen McCall Departing...
At the end of June, Policy and Rules Coordinator Karen McCall retired after 30 years of service to the LCB. She held the positions of Clerk Typist 2 and 3, Licensing Investigator, Licensing Supervisor, Licensing Manager, Acting Director of Licensing and Rules and Policy Coordinator. For the past 11 years, her focus was as the alcohol Rules and Policy Coordinator. 
Karen loved every minute of her tenure at the LCB. Her going away party was filled with industry members, past Board members as well as friends and family.  She said that the best part of working at the LCB was that there was always something new to work on. She worked through the transformation from paper files into the electronic age, privatization of liquor and legalization of recreational marijuana. With Karen’s retirement, the agency loses a wealth of knowledge and a roving LCB historian. 
Karen McCall
Janette Benham
Janette Benham Arriving...
On July 1, Janette Benham took the reins as the agency's new Policy and Rules Coordinator for alcohol. With over 21 years of state service, Janette got her start at the Department of Corrections as an administrative assistant. From there she transitioned to a higher level administrative role at DSHS’ Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, then went on to a program management role at Children’s Administration, also a division of DSHS. Most recently Janette was a Program Manager for health profession boards and committees at the Department of Health.
Janette joined the agency in December which allowed her to learn on the job with Karen for six months prior to her retirement. After half a year in self proclaimed "study mode" learning the ins and outs of LCB's rules she has hit the ground running without missing a beat. She's enjoyed the challenge and is looking forward to working with stakeholders on upcoming issues!   

Licensing Webinars

Our Licensing Division provides free WebEx classes for applicants and licensees about a variety of alcohol and cannabis related topics. These classes, led by agency experts, are geared towards users and their questions. 
Please check out the upcoming classes and sign up for the topics that interest you.  We record each session, so if you missed a session you are interested in, check out our archives.

Special Occasion License Season is Upon Us!

Special event season is here! Events in Washington are commonly held with a Special Occasion License. The license allows a nonprofit organization to sell alcohol at an event or fundraiser that is advertised and open to the public. Here at the LCB, we process over 7,000 Special Occasion applications a year!
If you are planning an event that requires a Special Occasion License, here is some important information to remember:
  • The fee for a Special Occasion License $60 per day, per serving location
  • Applications must be submitted at least 45 days before the event
  • The application is available online at
For additional questions about Special Occasions, you can reach our customer service staff at (360) 664-1600 or by email at

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