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Governor Baker signs bill allowing beer and wine sales with pickup, food delivery in Massachusetts

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Today, April 3, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill authorizing on-premises licensees to sell malt beverages and wine for off-premises consumption for the duration of the Governor’s declared state of emergency, issued March 10, 2020.

Effective immediately and until the end of the state of emergency, all on-premises licensees (M.G.L. c. 138, § 12 bars, restaurants, general on premises, hotels, taverns, clubs, war veterans’ clubs, and continuing care retirement communities) may sell up to 192 ounces of malt beverages and 1.5 liters of wine for off-premises consumption only as part of a transaction for the purchase of food.

The sale of malt beverages and wine by § 12 licensees may only be done from opening until 12:00 am midnight, or the licensee’s closing time previously approved by the Local Licensing Authority, whichever is earlier. All wine must be in its original sealed container and all malt beverages must be in sealed containers. All licensees must verify that both the purchaser and recipient of alcohol are at least 21 years old.

Sales must be made as part of a takeout order by way of pickup, including curbside pickup, or delivery. Licensees do not need to obtain a separate transportation permit under M.G.L. c. 138, § 22, in order to make deliveries. Licensees are advised to check with their Local Licensing Authority on any additional requirements in order to sell alcohol for curbside pickup.

All sales must be accompanied by a receipt reflecting the purchase of food along with alcohol, and licensees must keep copies of all receipts for inspection by licensing authorities.

As always, all licensees must ensure that they comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that sales of alcoholic beverages take place only as authorized by federal, state, and local law.

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