An Act Regarding Taste-testing Event Licenses
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, current ambiguity in the law regarding the conduct of special licensed events for the taste testing of alcoholic beverages is having a negative impact on the promotion of craft breweries and wineries in the State; and
Whereas, it is important to resolve this ambiguity as soon as possible; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 28-A MRSA §709, sub-§2, ¶E, as amended by PL 2011, c. 629, §12, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 28-A MRSA §1052-B, as amended by PL 2013, c. 345, §3; c. 351, §§1 and 2; and c. 368, Pt. XXXX, §1 and affected by §13, is repealed.
Sec. 3. 28-A MRSA §1052-C, as amended by PL 2011, c. 629, §18, is repealed.
Sec. 4. 28-A MRSA §1052-D is enacted to read:
§ 1052-D. Taste-testing event license
A sponsored manufacturer licensed in another state may participate in the taste-testing event in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as a manufacturer licensed under section 1355-A or a person who has been granted a certificate of approval if:
Nothing in this section prohibits a manufacturer licensed under section 1355-A or a manufacturer who has received a certificate of approval from sponsoring more than one sponsored manufacturer.
(1) The 12-sample limit does not apply when the licensee provides a variety of substantial food offerings to patrons of the taste-testing event. For the purposes of this subparagraph, "substantial food" does not include offerings such as prepackaged snacks, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn or chips; and
(2) The sample-size and 12-sample limit do not apply when a licensee includes, as part of a taste-testing event, a multicourse sit-down meal designed to pair food with complementing alcoholic beverages. This exception applies only at a taste-testing event that is designed to promote the food and beverage or hospitality industry at which at least 50% of the vendors represent and promote a business other than the manufacture or distribution of liquor.
Sec. 5. 28-A MRSA §1361, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2007, c. 539, Pt. QQQ, §1, is further amended to read:
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.