Update on The Future of Carryout Alcohol in Montgomery County Post Pandemic

by Patrick Herron
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Update on The Future of Carryout Alcohol in Montgomery County Post Pandemic

Governor Larry Hogan will be signing several bills into law tomorrow that were approved by the Maryland General Assembly, including a two year extension on the sale of alcohol via delivery and carryout by licensed restaurants.

The Montgomery County ABS, which regulates the sale of liquor in Montgomery County, passed a temporary resolution back on March 24, 2020 that allows holders of on-premise licenses to sell for carry out and delivery.

This was one ways restaurants were able to stay afloat during the pandemic while dining rooms were shut down. A new bill, SB205, will replace the temporary resolution in July.

According to the ABS, “under the Bill, the license holder must get authorization from the Board of License Commissioners (Liquor Board) before selling alcohol for off-premises consumption. The Board of License Commissioners is expected to consider this Bill and determine its specific requirements, which may include clarifying the type or amount of food as well as the amount of alcohol,  at its June 3 meeting.”

Below is the current Board of License Commissioners’ temporary Resolution that allows holders of on-premises licenses to sell alcoholic beverages for carryout or delivery:

While the Governor’s order to close all restaurants as a part of the catastrophic health emergency remains in effect, all restaurants licensed by the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners may sell sealed containers of beer, wine, and liquor (for those with a qualifying liquor license) for off-premises consumption along with a takeout or delivered meal. This permission includes any type of sealed container, including bottles, cans, growlers, crowlers, and takeout cups with lids for off-premises consumption. This permission expires when the emergency order to close restaurants is lifted. Businesses may deliver beer, wine and liquor to Montgomery County addresses along with a meal using their own staff. State law prohibits the delivery of alcohol by a third party, such as Grubhub or Uber Eats.

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