Pick up your booze for virtual cocktail parties – ABC relaxes restrictions temporarily

South San Francisco, CA  March 22, 2020Image result for Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control logo

Who’s in for a virtual cocktail party? During this historical, and intense time, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control have loosened some restrictions to help local businesses that are hurting due to closure, like restaurants, bars, and liquor stores. 
Here’s what’s changing, according the SF Chron, which shared these bullet points below:
 
• All on-sale retailers – a.k.a. bars and restaurants – may now sell pre-packaged alcohol to go. (Some, but not all, restaurants’ licenses already allowed this.)
 
• Cocktails may now be sold to go as long as they’re with take-out or delivery food orders. They must have a lid or cap, and, the ABC clarifies, “no lids with sipping holes or openings for straws.” If a delivery driver is transporting those, they have to be in the car’s trunk.
 
• If a retailer has a license that previously prohibited it from selling alcohol through a drive-through window, that prohibition is now suspended.
 
• Craft distillers are also now allowed to do home delivery – but must keep it to 2.25 liters per customer per day. And retailers can now accept payment for alcohol delivery at your doorstep, rather than processing the payment on their business’ premises.
 
• Retailers may now return unsold alcohol to wholesalers or distributors. That means that any retailers who are now finding themselves without a steady cash flow can get rid of some inventory.
 
• Retailers may now buy alcohol from other retailers – and even from restaurants. (Normally, they’re required to buy alcohol from a wholesaler.)
 
• Normally, alcohol wholesalers can’t extend credit for retailer customers beyond 30 days, but for now the ABC says it won’t be enforcing that.
 
• All retailers can be open for all hours of the day except for between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.

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