The bill establishes an expanded retailer's license, under which a person licensed under the 'Colorado Beer Code' could sell both fermented malt beverages, also referred to as '3.2% beer', and malt liquors, also referred to as 'full-strength beer', at retail for consumption off the licensed premises. Persons licensed before January 1, 2019, under the 'Colorado Beer Code' to sell 3.2% beer at retail for consumption off premises are permitted to convert the license to an expanded retailer's license if the licensee:
- Notifies the state and local licensing authorities between July 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, of the intent to convert the license; and
- Has not and will not expand its floor space or refrigerated cooler space dedicated to the sale of beer and has not and will not increase the number of stock keeping units, or SKUs, attributable to beer products it offers for sale.
If a current off-premises licensee fails to meet the requirements to convert its retailer's license to an expanded retailer's license, the licensee must apply for a new expanded retailer's license in order to sell both types of beer products.
A new expanded retailer's license is subject to review by the local licensing authority to determine whether issuance of the license will result in an undue concentration of the same class of license and will require the use of additional law enforcement resources. Additionally, a new expanded retailer's license may not be issued for a premises that is located within 1,500 feet of another retail liquor business or, in a city with a population of 10,000 or fewer, within 3,000 feet of anther retail liquor business.
A person holding an expanded retailer's license is prohibited from selling single-serve containers of malt liquors, can sell beer only between 8 a.m. and 12 midnight, cannot permit employees under 21 years of age to sell or otherwise handle beer offered for sale on the premises, and must check the identification of its customers to ensure they are at least 21 years of age.
Additionally, the bill eliminates licenses that authorize the sale of 3.2% beer for consumption either on or off the licensed premises and requires current licensees to apply to convert the license to one of the other retailer licenses authorized under the 'Colorado Beer Code'.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)