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COVID-19 Brings Consumer Convenience to Pennsylvania

Effective tomorrow, August 4, 2020, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) amended sections 407, 415, and 442 of Act 29 of 2020. These revisions allow Pennsylvania Restaurant (“R”) liquor licensees, Eating Place Malt Beverage (“E”) licensees, and Wine Expanded Permit (“WEP”) holders that possess interior connections to another business they operate, such as a grocery store, convenience store, or similarly situated business that cannot have its entire building or business licensed, to have the consumer use the cash registers at their other business to sell malt or brewed beverages and wine for off-premises consumption.

Consumer Convenience in Pennsylvania

Previously, all alcohol sales in these businesses were confined to the licensed areas where alcohol was stored, served, and sold. This confused many customers who tried to check out at the wrong register line with beer and wine purchases. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a push to allow customers to use other registers in the store to create fewer touchpoints for customers by not having to use two different registers and to create less congestion in the licensed areas, which are typically fairly small.

Qualifications for Additional Cash Registers

In order to qualify, ALL the following requirements must be met:

  • The licensee’s building is 11,000 square feet or less;

  • The other business cash registers are in the same building as the licensed premises; and

  • The other business cash registers comply with the following standards as set forth by 47 P.S. 4-415(a)(8) and (9) of the Liquor Code:

    • Cash registers must have signage to designate that alcohol may be purchased at said register

    • Cash registers cannot be registers where customers scan their own purchases, which means that self-checkout is still prohibited for all alcohol purchases

    • Cash registers must always be staffed when patrons are purchasing alcohol

    • Cash register clerks must be at least 18 years of age and have completed Responsible Alcohol Management Program training

    • Cash register clerks must use a transaction scan device to verify the age of any patron purchasing alcohol who appears to be under 35 years of age before a sale can occur

    • The licensee may not sell or share the data from the use of its transaction scan device, except for providing said data to the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement

In order to start using additional cash registers, all the above-mentioned criteria must be met AND an email notification of compliance must be sent to RA-LBLICINV@PA.GOV including the following information:

  • LID, license number, and licensee name and address

  • The building’s total square footage

  • Plans or sketches that show the location of the specific cash registers being used

  • Confirmation that all conditions are met

Summer Associate Benjamin MacLuckie contributed to this article. 

©2020 Norris McLaughlin P.A., All Rights ReservedNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 216


About this Author

Matthew B. Andersen Corporate Business & Liquor Law Attorney Norris Mclaughlin Law Firm Pennsylvania

Matthew B. Andersen concentrates his practice on business law and liquor law.

In his liquor law practice, Matt works with all tiers of the alcohol industry, advising manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers.  Matt assists breweries, distilleries, wineries, wholesalers, distributors, restaurants, and hotels on obtaining and transferring liquor licenses, obtaining state and federal manufacturing permits and licensing, complying with federal/state liquor regulations and laws, providing transactional counseling, and defending citations and protests...

Theodore Zeller Attorney Norris Law Firm

Theodore J. Zeller III has extensive experience in liquor law, regulatory licensing, commercial transactions, real estate transactions, and litigation.

Chair of the firm’s Liquor Law Practice Group, Ted was lead counsel in a beer rights case brought against the world’s largest brewers and is now General Counsel to D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.

Ted’s lobbying efforts helped change various laws under the Pennsylvania Liquor Code. In 2010, Ted testified before the Senate Law and Justice Committee on behalf of Yuengling Brewery concerning House Bill 291, which addresses the distribution of brewed beverages in Pennsylvania.

In 2011, Ted authored portions of two different bills that were enacted into law.  The bills helped small brewers by allowing more efficient and cost effective brand registration, as well as altered the package laws for brewery licenses.  He also appeared before the House Liquor Committee with the Brewers of Pennsylvania in the Privatization Hearings. Most recently, his efforts helped change brewery regulations to allow for taprooms and he authored the Malt Beverage Tax Excise Credit legislation. Further, he has written extensively about Acts 39 and 166.

Ted counsels clients on the acquisition of liquor licenses and coordinates liquor license transactions with other practice areas, such as real estate, business law, financing, tax law, intellectual property, and litigation.  Known throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he also represents beer interests on a national level and advises breweries and wholesalers on state regulatory matters involving beer distribution and franchise laws. He regularly prepares distribution agreements for his clients and coordinates state and federal licensing for manufacturing and national distribution.

Ted has tried multiple cases in county and federal court, including jury trials, and hundreds of cases before arbitration panels, district justices, and administrative law judges. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Cider Guild and is General Counsel to the Brewers of Pennsylvania and represents alcohol interests in every category. Ted has helped numerous start-up breweries, wineries, distilleries, and retailers.

Ted was named a 2019 Pennsylvania Trailblazer by The Legal Intelligencer and made a cameo appearance in “Undercover Billionaire,” Episode 1 -2, as himself giving advice on how to build a brewery.

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