More Big Changes for the Pennsylvania Liquor Code

September 1, 2016
Aaron K. Zeamer

The new liquor license legislation in Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as Act 39, is rapidly being implemented by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.  The law, passed by the legislature in June and signed shortly thereafter by the governor, went into effect on August 8, 2016 and consumers around the Commonwealth are already quickly seeing its effects.  Most notably, many Pennsylvania liquor stores are now open expanded hours and selling lottery tickets and the PLCB has already approved a number of expanded wine permits which would allow grocery stores, restaurants or hotels to sell wine to go.  Consumers in Pennsylvania can now also receive shipments directly to their door from wineries across the country, provided that wineries obtain a new direct wine shipment permit.   These permits certainly provide for added convenience although the PLCB does impose some additional taxes on those purchases in exchange.

It remains to be seen how quickly the PLCB will implement a system to reactivate certain “dead” liquor licenses around the State to help with the rapidly rising value of liquor licenses in Lancaster and surrounding counties.  If the above implementations of the law are an example, one would hope that we would see these inactive and expired licenses auctioned soon.

Stay tuned for more changes as the sale and purchase of alcohol in Pennsylvania continues be a hot topic in the legislature as we approach election season.

Aaron Zeamer is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He practices in a variety of areas including Business Law and Liquor License matters. Aaron works frequently with commercial real estate agents, brokers and restaurant and bar owners, breweries, distilleries, and wineries to facilitate the sale and transfer of PA liquor licenses.